If you watched any of the Olympic swimming events this past summer, all of the talk was about the advanced swimming pool the Chinese had built and the new seamless Speedo LZR swimwear. The commentators suggested this combination of factors was behind the fantastic speeds the swimmers were able to achieve.
Today I read that 15 nations are complaining that swimwear needs to be regulated. As you saw during the Olympics, almost all of the athletes were wearing the Speedo LZR. So they broke a bunch of records. Obviously the LZR is superior, but if everyone is wearing it then does it really make any difference? Every competitive swimsuit that came before it was trying to optimize the athlete’s performance… this one just does it better. Trying to regulate swimwear seems like an absurd idea.
I think we’ve forgotten something. The focus should be on the athletes, not their equipment. The Ancient Olympic Games some 2000 years ago were always done nude. Why? Because the Olympics were meant to celebrate the achievements of the human body.
The ancient Greeks were obviously were not prudes. Let’s take a page from history and simultaneously shed our vestigial Victorian values. Remove swimwear from the equation entirely; everyone’s on equal footing when they’re wearing their birthday suit. Then there’s absolutely nothing for the bureaucrats to regulate.
The cynic in me says that corporate interests, not morality, is what would really kill such an idea. How can Speedo sell more swimsuits if their logo isn’t all over the competitive swimmers, or without Olympians to act as spokespeople for their brands? The athletes, unfortunately, rely on corporate funding and sponsorship in order to compete.
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