Who would have thought that swimsuits could be so controversial? As it turns out, FINA (FÃƒÆ’ ©dÃƒÆ’ ©ration Internationale de Natation) has decided to, “limit the amount and type of materials” that can be used to make the fancy swimsuits worn by elite swimmers such as Michael Phelps, according to a recent article from Scientific American.
The controversy stems from the unprecedented number of world records broken (108 last year) according to a recent New York Times article. The big transition in suits occurred back in 2000 when both men and women switched from lycra briefs in the case of men and lycra suits in the case of women to the full one piece body suit.
But it took us a little digging to discover that not only do these full piece suits streamline like seals, but they can be made of either polyurethane or titanium alloys and other composite materials according to the Scientific American article. The new rules will specifically require smaller suits (in other words, suits that show more flesh) ” men can only wear coverage between the waist and knees whereas women can’t wear suits that extend beyond the shoulders or lower than the knees. The second part of the new rules state that materials can only come from textiles which would take these titanium alloys suits out of the mix.
We can see why the rules went into effect. We all know that titanium is a high strength light-weight metal. We’d put it on for a swim race over Lycra anyday!