The Swimsuit Controversy at the U.S. Olympic Trials

In Omaha, swimming records are being re-written as swimmers compete for spots on the U.S. Olympic swim team. The men’s and women’s records may be attributed to having better conditioned athletes and new training methods. It may be attributed to new swimsuit technology.

Both TYR Sports and Speedo are offering swimwear that helps the swimmer go through the water more efficiently. Do the new swimming records reflect the improvements of athletic performance or do these new records just show how technology can improve a sport?

Another perspective is whether these records are legitimate or a way of legitimately “cheating”.

Is it cheating if golf club development gives that weekend hacker a Tiger-Woods-like driving distance? Is it cheating if a basketball shoe gives a few more inches to one’s hop? Is it cheating when new age technology gives your tennis serve triple digit speed?

It is regrettable that the swimsuit technology argument is distracting from the swimming accomplishments. These are athletes who train for years with the Olympic competition as their focus. Now athletic achievements are being questioned; and people are discussing swimwear and technology.

Catherine Forsythe