Super Suits

Tonight, the United States swimming team won the gold medal in the Olympic 400-meter medley relay, making it the 8th gold medal for swimming superstar, Michael Phelps. I have to admit, I was pretty stressed just watching the race from home. I can’t imagine being his mother in the stands. I’m excited for Michael. They are calling him the “best Olympian of all time” and sure, that’s good for him. But more importantly, he dared to dream a big, bodacious dream and he made it. It makes me wonder what the rest of us could do if we really dared to dream.

Another interesting turn in Olympic swimming is the breaking of 20 world records. They say it’s because of these fancy, new Fastskin LZR Racer Swimsuits. Supposedly, they help reduce the drag in the water and make Michael Phelps “feel like a rocket in the water.” That could be, though I do wonder if anyone has actually measured the pool in Beijing to be sure it’s truly 50m long. What I really want to know is if these suits are available for other applications? For instance, could there be a super suit for cooking, laundry, and cleaning that would allow you to get all those jobs done in record time? I want one of those.

I heard a funny story today about former Olympian Mark Spitz who won seven gold medals back in 1972 while I was busy wondering if he was too old for me. He had (as any middle age woman knows) a mustache back then, which is unusual for any competitive swimmer. The Russian coach asked him about why he had a mustache and wouldn’t that slow him down? He admits to feeling a little impish that day and told the coach that the mustache allowed the water to deflect away from his mouth, helped raise his rear end, and made him bullet shaped in the water. Even though he’d intended to shave it off before competition, he kept it and won the seven medals. The next year all of the Russian swimmers had mustaches. Spitz’s iconic mustache was apparently the 1972 version of the super suit.

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