I love competitive swimming. And more than anything, I love watching the Olympic swimming events. Unlike many of the popular sports in the US such as basketball, baseball, football, etc, swimming does not (for some reason) have an elite finals of whatever that people pay attention to. For a professional swimmer, the Olympics is IT. Which makes the Olympic swimming events even more exciting and meaningful than any game that the new “Dream Team” may be participating in.
I swam competitively from age 7 through High School. One thing that was consistent with each year was our swimwear. Nothing fancy, nothing hip. If you wanted to get a little crazy you could get a florescent swimsuit or maybe one with a flower on it. But for the most part, the design of the suit did not change.
Now, swimwear design has gone a little bit wild. When the long body skin suits first made an appearance a couple Olympics back, people were impressed. But none of us expected something even crazier to make an Olympic debut in the near future. The Beijing Olympics has proven them wrong. This is the Olympics to show off your flashiest and skankiest suits yet. Winning? Not as important. Speedo briefs: a suit of the past and now only worn by overweight Europeans. We’ve seen some previews of the suits throughout the various Olympic swimming trials. Here’s some of the best of what can be expected at this year’s Olympics:
The American Suit: Ride ’em cowboy!
The American team is Americanizing their suits this year with some stars and stripes. I’m not sure how this is going to improve the “easy” American image overseas considering it looks like the swimmers are wearing chaps with their butts hanging out. But hey, anything to distract the other swimmers, right? And, if you want to get into the “I’m a swimmer AND a cowboy” mode, you can purchase this same suit for $550. Yeehaw!
The Chinese Suit: Get whipped
I have totally underestimated the Chinese government. It seems like they’re really loosening up on things. Or maybe this is a secret weapon of defense to truly “whip” the competition. These suits were debuted at a Beijing Olympic Fashion Show a couple months back. No word on if these are the official suits of the Chinese team. Either way, I’d be careful if I were one of the American swimmers. The Chinese team is taking no chances this year. And I’ve also heard that they’ve replaced their flip flops with stilettos. Yikes!
The Japanese Suit: Made in America
The Japanese team has sadly succumbed to wearing what the American team is wearing: the Speedo LZR Racer (without the ass-bearing chap design). There was an edict before these NASA-developed suits came out that the Japanese team was only allowed to wear suits made in Japan. Unfortunately, the three companies making swimsuits in Japan could not come up with a competitive design in time for the Olympics. So, while Japan is about a step and half ahead of the US on everything else related to technologically advanced products, at least we can hang on to the glory of our swimsuits.
The 1950s American Suit: Swims really fast … for real!
This is why there are still world records being broken. From 1917 to 1960, swimmers were required to wear black suits with skirts attached. Color was first introduced in 1964. Talk about being strict — this looks like something you’d wear if you were really trying to lose. My Pomeranian could swim faster than an Olympic swimmer wearing this suit … and she’s got more hair than the combined extensions of Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson.
While the LZR Racer seems to be the overall swimsuit of choice for this year’s Olympic swimmers, there could be some surprises thrown in regarding how the individual teams wear their suits. Will China really show up with whips? Will the American team ride up to the pool on horses? Are they going to keep showing that Australian swimmer with his see-through bathing suit on every news program? A little warning would be appreciated! Regardless, with all the swimmers wearing the same suit they’re also all on the same playing field. And the natural abilities and talents of the swimmers are really going to come out at this Olympics.
So stop the lawsuits and accept the LZR Racer! The suit is the real gold medal winner this time around.