‘Rocket suit’ in Olympics: NASA-backed design could help swimmers clinch gold

Swimmers who are competing for gold at the Paris Olympics this month are anticipating cutting-edge swimsuits which could help them excel at their performance. Backed by the latest technology these unique swimsuits are expected to be the most water-repellent ones that have ever been produced. 

Top athletes have already expressed their enthusiasm for the product, with many believing it will significantly benefit them.

Leading swimwear brand Speedo has come up with the latest version of its Fastskin LZR Racer suit. According to its makers, the suit is not only water-repellent but also provides a feeling of weightlessness.

Top swimmers like Emma McKeon from Australia, Caeleb Dressel from the United States, and Adam Peaty from Britain will be sporting this swimsuit. Dressel likened the swimsuit to his own “little Speedo rocket suit” and is confident it will enhance his performance.

McKeon noted that her new attire is faster than ever and allows water to easily glide off the surface. Notably, the suits are equipped with a coating technology that is used to protect satellites.

The particular swimsuit is seamless, partly polyurethane, and co-designed by NASA to ensure buoyancy and ample muscle support, enabling swimmers to swim faster and longer.

Speedo is also developing more advanced models, including part-polyurethane suits by Arena and the all-polyurethane Jaked 01. It is crucial for swimmers and athletes to wear swimwear that creates a more streamlined shape, allowing water to move across with less resistance, and Speedo seems to be on that path.

Speedo has always been innovative in swimwear manufacturing. In the past, they created the Fastskin swimsuit, which closely resembled shark skin texture. That year, approximately 83% of swimmers wearing that suit won a medal.

Following that, they introduced the Fastskin II, which Michael Phelps wore to become the first person to win eight medals. In 2008, Phelps wore the Fastskin LZR Racer and secured eight golds.

Just a few months ago, the Australian Olympic Committee partnered with Speedo. The authorities acknowledge Speedo’s remarkable Olympic history.

“Australian athletes are thrilled with the look, fit, and feel of the Speedo uniforms. Thank you to Speedo for your continued support of athletes and for ensuring our swimmers, water polo players, divers, and surfers look and feel their best as they compete at Paris 2024,” said Anna Meares, the Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team for Paris 2024.

Experts suggest that technologically advanced swimsuits can offer not only physical but also psychological benefits. Some believe that most swimmers will feel much faster wearing a tech suit, experiencing increased confidence and motivation, which can lead to enhanced performance.

Gairika Mitra, Interesting Engineering