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Do you think that high-tech swimsuits like Speedo's LZR Racer give swimmers an unfair advantage?

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Nope, if people have an issue with this, then what about all the uniform and equipment that have shattered record after record in sports like track and field? The streamlined sprinting tights, technologically advanced spikes, training, etc., all have shattered records. So why not, what difference does it make whether it's swimming, track, or any other sport? Wearing this suit is not going to make a 60 year old grandpa break the world record in the 200 meter butterfly. No big deal.

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I doubt that these suits really make someone swim faster. After all, how much faster is 9.75 seconds that 9.78 seconds? Once sports start measuring times with decimal points, then it just becomes obscure. What will the record look like in 10 years' time? Winning time of 9.7777777 seconds?

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How could it be an 'unfair' advantage if every competitor has the option to wear one?

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Its an advantage? yes; unfair? no.

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It's unfair to underdeveloped nations. Though I don't know how well they do in swimming regardless of these suits.

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I'm certainly hoping for an advantage with the ladies when I rock up to Shonan in my LZR Racer.

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thepro Olympics is not fair to start with. Having the best nutrition, best coach, best support system, best gear, best exposure, ability to compete to international events prior to olympics, name it; against those who don't have these advantages. This is not really an issue. who usually dominates the swimming arena anyway? Have you heard third country nations excelling in it? Let the Australians, Russians, Americans, Europeans, Japanese (never a powerhouse anyway) compete...they all have the advantage. Peace.

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thepro Olympics is not fair to start with. Having the best nutrition, best coach, best support system, best gear, best exposure, ability to compete to international events prior to olympics, name it; against those who don't have these advantages. This is not really an issue. who usually dominates the swimming arena anyway? Have you heard third country nations excelling in it? Let the Australians, Russians, Americans, Europeans, Japanese (never a powerhouse anyway) compete...they all have the advantage. Peace.

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Well, the original Olympians were naked, I guess, but I think most countries, though maybe not all, would buy swimsuits for their athletes...perhaps even running shoes. For those whose countries won't buy equipment, I would imagine the companies that sell the stuff would be happy to equalize the playing field with a free suit bearing their logo.

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I would imagine the companies that sell the stuff would be happy to equalize the playing field with a free suit bearing their logo.

That would mean Speedo donating 70,000 yen swimsuits to every Olympic swimmer - how many would that be? Can't see it happening, not when the rich swimmers are falling over themselves to buy the suits......

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Cleo,

Ahem, let me repeat, "For those whose countries won't buy equipment..." Additionally, many, many suppliers have agreements with Olympic teams to provide equipment, not just Speedo, and I don't believe there are 70,000 Olympic swimmers in any case, are there?

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Oh I see I misread that, but the other point is still valid.

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Interesting article on this topic here:

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/05/23/f-swimsuitcompetition.html

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many, many suppliers have agreements with Olympic teams to provide equipment, not just Speedo

...the problem being that everyone wants to wear Speedo. Other makers' swimsuits don't level the playing field ...er... swimming pool. That's what all the fuss is about. Didn't the Japanese swimmers get a dispensation from the JOC freeing them from the obligation to wear domestic swimwear, so that they can all wear Speedo?

I reckon there should be a regulation Olympic swimsuit that everyone wears so that no one has an advantage and the best swimmer wins, not the richest.

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Of course its unfair! I mean, they walk up to the ladies, and they can see all the goods! If I had those then my junk would be....oh wait, u mean for SWIMMING? Oh. Ummm naw them boys swim fast or they dont.

Pimpninja say, hope those dont chafe.

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If the LZR was a Japanese innovation, this question would never be posed.

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No more advantageous than eating a tin O beans me thinks.

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It is absolutely unfair. Developing nations simply can't afford the R and D for these kinds of "enhancements," with or without licensing deals. The Olympic Games are supposed to be about the pinnacle of human physical ability, not the pinnacle of human engineering. How proud can and athlete really be of a medal finish when it's the suit, not the athlete in the suit, that gives one the edge needed to win? These suits are no different from using body enhancing drugs, and to preserve what's left of the integrity of the games, they should be banned across the board.

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IMO, This started when the IOC allowed Pro's to compete in the Olympics.

Pro's by definition already got an advantage over amateur athletes. The Olympics used to be the one major event where amateurs could prove them selves and possibly move into the pro-field.

Pro's got tons of events to show what they can do and get metals in which amateurs are not allowed to compete.

At the Beijing Olympics they will have the first guy(Runner) moving over from the paralympics, as he has custom-made prothesis that allow him to compete in the races against able-bodied runners.

For me these days the Olympics is more about money, corporate sponsor, etc. Where did the sportsmanship, etc go?

I prefer the Paralympics as they are still closer to the Olympic ideal and the athletes really work hard and give up a lot to attend them.

Just my view.

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swim naked! Solves lots of problems.

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swim naked! Solves lots of problems.

Not really... you just shift the question to whether the swimmers can shave or not. And specifically which regions of the body can you shave?

Also, would the IOC have to then regulate the use of herbal "reducers" (I'm talking about the opposite of the spam email "enhancers") which help cut down on drag?

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