Sports & Fitness | Tech

Threads of Gold: The Science of Olympic Clothing

Any advantage, even a few milliseconds, can be the difference between a gold medal and no medal.

Sports apparel leader, Nike, has spent millions of dollars in pursuit of hundredths of a second to ready athletes for the Athens Olympics. Check out some of their latest innovations designed with speed in mind that is ending up in today’s futuristic Olympic clothing.


Nike Zoom Celar 2 Running Shoe

When Nike developed the Celar with Marion Jones, her needs were simple — a lightweight, versatile track shoe with teeth for the turn. The result is the first articulated plate designed to be anatomically correct for the turn in the 200m/400m. It has a streamlined, zipperless shroud that enhances aerodynamics, and is feather light at 161.59 grams.


 Nike ZOOM MARATHON running shoe

This shoe is lightweight (192.77 grams) but with the support and durability high mileage demands, as 42km (marathon length) translates into thousands of strides. The strong, breathable mesh panels, designed to counter the heat of Athens, are complemented by small holes in the mid-foot and outsole for ventilation top to bottom. The outsole of the shoe is flat, for a smooth,supportive transition heel to toe. Zoom Air cushioning in the heel keeps things fast, snappy and cushioned.


Nike Swift Suit
As seen on Olympic hurdler Perdita Felecien here…

Nike hurdler Perdita Felicien
Innovations include zoned aerodynamics, strategic seam placement, articulated fit, low friction zones and thermo-regulation. The suit is designed with mesh ear holes in the hood, seams in the back of the suit, a hidden front zipper and sleeves that extend to cover parts of the hands, all of which should result in reduced drag, and faster times.


Nike Pre-Cool Vest

Only 25% of our total bodies’ energy goes to moving muscle and 75% is used to regulate heat. The compression PRECOOL Vest slows the rise of an athlete’s core body temperature by 19%. It slowly lowers body temperature over the course of 60 minutes through ice packs housed in the close-fitting vest, giving the athlete a chance to cool the body before a long-distance activity. Removing the vest just prior to the starting gun gives the athlete’s body — and thus, the athlete—a virtual head start.


Nike V. CARBON MAX lens

The eyes lead the body. The V.Carbon Max was created to provide visual accuracy at high velocity. Nike’s Max Lens Technology provides the biggest sweet spot of any sport lens. The frameless, “flying” lens eliminates visual obstruction and reduces fogging by increasing airflow across the lens. Carbon fibre and titanium keep it strong and light, and the ventilated, rubberized nose bridge ensures stability and comfort.


Written by Faze’s James Chung

From Faze Magazine Issue #16

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