firefighter polo shirts Olympians suit up in high
NEW YORK (AP) When seconds count, the right clothing matters.
For the Rio Olympics, Nike used 3 D printing technology to develop small silicone protrusions for redirecting air flow around the runner. Body scanners helped Adidas design suits to keep swimmers in ideal form. cycling team.
Innovations in suits and shoes have sped up, thanks to advancements in how clothing is designed and tested all as manufacturers get creative in working around rules enacted to prevent the apparel equivalent of doping.
“We make sure we stay inside those rules, but we will get to the very edge of them if we can,” said Adam Clement, senior creative director for team sports at Under Armour. “Our goal is to innovate in a way that ultimately makes the Olympic rules change. We’ll adjust, but we’ll feel proud of that accomplishment.”WHY IT MATTERS
Clothing needs to be form fitting to minimize air resistance, especially for speed events in cycling, swimming and track.
“Four seconds in four kilometers is (the difference between) first and eighth place,” said Jim Miller,
vice president of athletics with USA Cycling.
But the wrong materials or designs could mean discomfort and unnecessary weight counteracting the gains from drag reduction. marathoner Desiree Linden said in an interview. team’s dismal performance two years ago in Sochi, Russia. UA said it is already testing suits for 2018 and will try to get them to competitors sooner, with more customization for individual body types.
Running specialist Brooks turned to Linden to help design her Hyperion shoes. The shoe fabric eliminates seams to reduce the risk of blisters, while rubber rings on the bottom boost traction in slippery terrains and serve as barriers to contain and propel energy back up, according to the company.
“It feels like you do get a spring,” Linden said. “There’s no wasted energy. It’s going right back into you. It feels fast.”
Brooks started selling the shoes in June, though Linden and other Olympians will get extra laser perforations in their shoes for ventilation in Rio’s heat.
Under Armour uniforms for the Canadian rugby and the Swiss and Dutch beach volleyball teams borrow NASA spacesuit technology to reduce body temperature. The insides have crystal pattern sheets to absorb heat from the body.
Swimming has among the toughest guidelines after Speedo’s suits propelled Michael Phelps and other swimmers to medals and records at the 2008 Olympics. Their full body suits which are no longer permitted were developed with NASA to boost buoyancy and reduce drag.
Clothing makers can still innovate; they just have to be creative. Michelle Miller, Nike’s apparel concept director, said figuring out how “is one of my favorite parts of the design process.”
Adidas’ Adizero XVI swimsuits for Britain’s Chris Walker Hebborn and other swimmers have elastic like bands meant to keep bodies in streamlined positions. That minimizes drag and propels swimmers in the pool. Because the rules allow Adidas to place the bands only over seams where pieces of fabric meet, Adidas moved the seams over to where it wanted the bands to be.