Swimsuits too technical?

So there’s been a lot of debate in the swimming world lately about the swimsuits some athletes are wearing.

This cant be Michael Phelps swimming in one of those bodysuits that he is so against, can it?

This can't be Michael Phelps swimming in one of those bodysuits that he is so against, can it?

Apparently, this high-tech swimsuit allows swimmers to go so fast, no record is safe.

The governing body of swimming will be banning these things next year.

And I think it’s a stupid idea.

Sure, there’s a lot of people upset about suits, but most of them seem to be fans of Michael Phelps, who can’t wear one of these suits because of a sponsor deal. But he chose to sign that deal, so he can’t complain. It would be like a skater signing a deal with Bauer for hockey skates, and then wanting to switch to Nike skates because every one else is wearing one. Tough. You signed the contract, you live up to it.

Here’s a link to Phelps promoting his bodysuit, which they call the fastest in the world. Here’s a few more about his suit, which was actually designed by NASA scientists: here and here. Is it fair that Phelps bodysuit, which he used to break world records and win eight Olympic gold medals, was never a problem until he started to lose when his competitors wore similar ones?

Besides, Phelps has done everything he could to get the advantage. He wears two swimming caps instead of one because he believes it helps. 

Wait, is this another photo of Phelps wearing one of these suits? I guess its only a bad thing if hes not winning.

Wait, is this another photo of Phelps wearing one of these suits? I guess it's only a bad thing if he's not winning.

It’s only when Phelps started losing and his records were broken people kicked up a fuss (by the way, read this article, and tell me Phelps doesn’t come off as one of the biggest whiners and sore losers you’ll see, especially when his coach says Phelps might now swim again until the ban next year. Suck it up, princess.).

But this is the evolution of sports. It’s like when NHL players started using composite sticks a few years back. It makes them shoot faster and harder, but there was no outcry to ban them.

Back in the 1990s, Wayne Gretzky played with an aluminum stick. Again, no outcry.

There are countless new shoes, skates and uniforms designed to make an athlete faster and better.

This swimwear is the latest. Banning it is sheer foolishness.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Swimsuits too technical?

  1. John

    As an Olympian ’84 & ’88 and someone deep in the sporting goods industry I find Phelps and Bowman perspective quite hypocritical. Phelps did wear a suit last year that provided competitive advantage. This certainly helped him.

    Bottom line is new technology has always created buzz and controversy in sports. Unfortunately technology does not make sports more competitive – just more expensive and usually more dangerous. (the swim suit does not present a more dangerous swim). Once a new technology in sport is developed and adopted everyone has to buy it in order to remain competitive. Examples are everywhere – the two walled bat in softball and baseball, the lightweight stick & molded heads in lacrosse, and so on. The worst example of technology today that makes athletes better are steroids. Yes they are technology, they do make athletes better and they are dangerous.

    The early adopters of technology win a race now and then but in long run everyone has to adopt the technology or the governing body sets the limits of the technology and we return back to human competition.

  2. John McCue

    New technology is available to everyone and should be accepted as improving the sport. MLB does not permit bats made of anything but solid wood, but softball allows aluminum and composite bats. Pro football footwear used to look like something loggers would wear. Now every player wears whatever the manufacturers seem to come up with. Some players even wear different footwear on each foot. Soccer balls of solid leather get waterlogged and VERY heavy-especially when they contact your head. Synthetic soccer balls have improved the game. Racing bicycle makers use several different frame materials and frame shapes. So what?

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