Friday, April 11, 2008

Technological Doping: What is the Cost?

I recently came across a really interesting article about technological doping, thanks to another local blogger, Jon Becker. Basically, Speedo's new high-tech LZR Racer swimsuit makes swimmers feel like they are swimming downhill. The suit uses NASA technology, and sound comparable to wearing a high end tri-specific wetsuit -- It gives compression, and a bit of buoyancy. So the question is, is it really technological doping if anyone can buy one? Do we want to make swimming about equipment, like so many other sports are? Actually, until now, swimming was the one sport where equipment doesn't matter. Only what Mother Nature gave you and what you do with it matters.
I have an idea. Fair is fair, lets make everyone swim naked.


TriGirl Thea said...

hehe...going to the pool would never be a chore again.

However, you say we didn't use 'technology' up until this suit was developed. But as far as I am aware, nylon, polyester and lycra are all man-made - and so count as technology. And compared to wearing the woollen bathing suits of yesteryear, I'm sure this makes swimming feel like you're going downhill too.

Just a thought...(there was a debate about this on the World Swimming Championships yesterday)

Stephanie said...

Another note: Not anyone can buy one. From a recreational perspective, not everyone can afford a five hundred dollar suit. And on an international scale, if your team doesn't have Speedo as a sponsor, you can't wear it. Unless you choose to forego an apparel sponsor altogether, you'll wear what you're paid to. Naturally, Speedo can't sponsor every team out there. Fair or no? I personally side with you, banning suit materials will lead the sport down a slippery slope that we've seen many others go down. There will be some interesting conversations this summer, though ...