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BTW, what is up with the "bike shorts" suits anyway, and the "leggings" suits? Am I crazy, or did swimmers, like, not used to wear leggings in the pool?


You're not crazy. The suits are made of spaceage materials that have less drag than shaved skin.

Prior to this, the idea was to have as much skin showing as possible, since the suits' material wasn't as hydrodynamic*.

Then came the new-fangled suits, which come in all shapes and sizes - they look like bike pants, running tights, unitards, wetsuits.

From the interviews i've seen, it's a matter of personal preference. Some swimmers like the full-body coverage, others find it restrictive.

And because the suits are expensive, to level the playing field, i believe the suits are made available free of charge for poorer countries/programs.



I'm still on the fence about all of this. On the one hand, it's kinda cool. Ian Thorpe's suit is supposedly one of the best, modeled after nature, like fish scales or something.

I'm all for technology, but on the other hand, i feel like there should be asterisks by the world record holder's names if they wear these suits.

I mean, it's one thing to use technology to help you get stronger, e.g. some advanced weight lifting training program.

It's another entirely if the two-thousandths of a second margin of victory was there only because you were wearing a better suit than your competitor. (If that's the case, then the suit should receive a gold medal, too.)


*shrug*

I don't know.





* Is this even a word? You know, like aerodynamic but in the water?
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