With the 2008 Summer Olympics fast approaching, swimmers are training hard to grab the gold, but a new swimsuit might be creating an unfair competition.
Since the arrival of Speedo's LZR Racer swimsuit back in February, athletes using the gear have set 37 world records. The hype has people questioning whether the swimsuit should be used in upcoming Olympic Games. Some critics and sports governing bodies have noted that the new gear is performance enhancing, thus creating an unfair advantage for others.
However, not all athletes have access to such technology. In the case of Japan's national team, their swimmers are licensed to wear specific swimsuits made by local manufacturers. Some athletes do prefer the Speedo swimsuit, but it's not up to them, the decision can only be made by the Olympic committee.
The concept of the LZR Racer swimsuit was first created by Aqualab (Speedo's global research and development facility). By working with word-class experts from industries such as aerospace, engineering and medicine, they were able to create the swimsuit.
The following are the main features of this unique design:
- LZR Pulse - The swimsuit is created from Speedo's unique LZR Pulse fabric. This specific material is lightweight, water repellent and it reduces muscle oscillation and skin vibration through powerful compression.
- LZR Panels - These thin and powerful panels embedded at certain points on a swimmer's body create a streamlined figure which helps reduce skin friction drag.
- Core Stabilizer - The internal and core stabilizer helps support and hold the swimmer in a certain grip and helps them maintain the best body position underwater.
- Bonded Seams - The LZR Racer suit is the world's first bonded bodysuit; the bonded seams help create a smooth and flexible surface.
With such unique designs and features, Speedo claims that the LZR Racer swimsuit is four per cent faster in starts, sprints and turns and has a five per cent better oxygen efficiency. Speedo has also gotten some help from professional swimmers. Athletes such as Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin have assisted Speedo with the advertising and development of the swimsuit.
But it doesn't matter who wears the swimsuit; it comes down to whether the Olympic committee will allow the product to be used in the Beijing Olympics. Other sports don't have a lot of problems when it comes to certain types of gear. However, when it comes to swimming, suits are specifically design to help the performance of athletes. Speedo took the performance to a next level and may have just blown any other competition out of the water.
Hat tip to MakeWorldBetter
Our Guest Blogger, Joshua Khan, is an aspiring journalist from Ontario, Canada. He wanted to share the latest sports innovations with the readers of InventorSpot.com.