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Summer Olympics: Innovations in Sports Equipment

SpecialChem / Aug 6, 2008

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games are set to begin on August 8. Over the past few years, as swimmers, runners, and other athletes around the world prepared for the competition, they have sought out innovative equipment with the potential to help them break records and win medals for their respective countries. Just as Olympic athletes have been training for the Games for years, designers and manufacturers have spent years figuring out how to use chemistry to make their athletic equipment lighter, stronger, more flexible, and less constricting,to allow athletes to perform to the best of their ability. Anything that reduces drag benefits an athlete's speed, particularly in a short track event. Nike claims its new Swift suit can take around 0.02 seconds off a runner's time in the 100-meter race, with seven percent less drag than its predecessor, which was used in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.The Swift unitard has been re-engineered to use more aerodynamic fabrics.Some seams and edges have been removed entirely.

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