London 2012: Plastics power Olympic performance from head to toe and turf


The drivers underlying the continuing adoption of polymer technology so prevalent in automotive, aerospace, and other industries are also very much on the minds of the athletes going for gold in London—and the equipment makers supplying them. In competitions where hundredths of a second can mean the difference between a podium spot and the ranks of onlookers, every advantage in weight and overall performance is crucial.

Most who follow Olympic sports like swimming every four years probably remember the body suits that were banned following the 2008 games in Beijing, where 66 Olympic records were broken. Made of polyurethane and other "non-textile" materials, the suits, which were said to increase buoyancy, cut down on fatigue and perhaps offer an "air-trapping" advantage, were clearly helping swimmers increase their speed....
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