General Question

simone54's avatar

So, the new swimming suits are the reason for the faster times. Isn't that like cheating?

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18 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

No. I don’t think so. They are available to anyone to purchase. So in a way, I think saying that is like saying running shoes are responsible for faster running times: certainly! Our runners would not want to run in bare feet or high heels or any other shoes. Running shoes are made to help runners run better. These suits are made to help swimmers swim. I see no difference.

(Now if they were only available to one or two swimmers, it might be different. But they are freely purchasable.)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I agree with Empress. The same could be said about race cars, moisture-wicking fabrics, and swimming caps.

Les's avatar

I can see these suits cutting a few hundredths of a second off of a standing record. But last night, the US men beat the record by 4 seconds (not to mention, France closely followed them). I don’t think 4 seconds is because of the suits. I think it is because these athletes sleep, live and are what they do. They train like mad, so that’s why records are being broken.

Poppet's avatar

exactly, les. Believe me, I could wear that suit and wouldn’t even come anywhere close to those swimmers (if I could even get it on!). Many of the sports have made advances over the centuries, enabling those with the abilities to fine tune their performance, nearing perfection (and perfection keeps moving further away with the advances!). Watch the other sports, along with track with their fancy shoes and archery, with the elaborate bows they use there. It’s more in how the athlete uses the equipment WITH the talent that they already have that makes a difference in any sport.

wilhel1812's avatar

I’d say it’s a part of the competition to have the right gear. you don’t just have be good at swimming, you need to select the right stuff to wear as well. just like lets say cross country skiing. You have to be good at selecting the right skis and waxing. it’s not just about strength, but the preperations and gear.

kfingerman's avatar

I agree. The suits are not cheating per se, sports technologies are always improving and as long as they fall within the rules of the governing body, it’s not unfair to the to the other swimmers in the race I think it’s a bit sad that athletes of bygone eras have their records “shattered” using equipment they had no access to, but it’s pretty well impossible to stop that tide.

Bri_L's avatar

Also who is swimming. Some of these swimmers are 6’ 5” or 6’ 9” with arm spans to match, that is going to add on some stroke length. You just didn’t see those size people swimming 10 years ago.

jrpowell's avatar

My score went up about 30 points after getting my own shoes and bowling ball.

Anybody have a picture of the new suits? I don’t watch sports. I can’t visualize what they could change that would make a difference.

edit :: and don’t diss bowling. You can drink while you bowl.

Les's avatar

@johnpowell: Here’s an article.
They’re pretty sweet.

jrpowell's avatar

@Les :: Thanks for the link

Didn’t they used to be tiny speedos? The new ones certainly take the “sexy” out of the sport.

Les's avatar

@john: Yeah, I think so, Speedos have their appeal, but the newbies are skin tight, so maybe there is something to be said for that. But some of the new suits they are wearing are not the full body ones shown in the link. They are just bottoms. And man do they ride a little low. I would be afraid that the force of the water would move them down just a little too low. **shudder**

wilhel1812's avatar

I think full suites are quite sexy actually, girls in wetsuits are hot!

GeauxTigers's avatar

@Les Even the FastSkin suits that came out for the last Olympics, which aren’t nearly as tight as the LZR’s, had absolutely no chance of sliding down. The LZR’s have been said to take two people and 20 minutes to put on.

I have no problem with suits that provide a “faster” surface (by making it smoother or thinner) — I just take issue with a suit compressing your body. The fairest swimming competition would be done in the nude… and to be honest, with the video technology we have nowadays, blurring wouldn’t be too difficult. ;)

Bri_L's avatar

@wilhel1812-I concure

lefteh's avatar

Check out some of the answers to my similar question from a few weeks ago. A lot of good arguments were raised there.

marinelife's avatar

I think that since they impact buoyancy, they should be disallowed.That might very well impact records.

lefteh's avatar

@Marina: It’s been proven that they impact buoyancy? I thought FINA found otherwise.

Emilyy's avatar

@Marina: As far as I know, the rules prevent suits that cause buoyancy (like a wetsuit would), so any suit proven to enhance buoyancy wouldn’t be allowed. At the same time, everyone has access to the suits, so although it may impact records, everyone has the same chance at breaking them.

And yes, the tighter the suit, the faster you go. That’s why they’re so darn to put on. I have on many occasions needed help putting on a FastSkin.

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