Speedo offers new skin for the Olympics

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UPDATE: At the end of the post.

phelpsx-large.jpgIn a nod that swimming events during the Summer Olympics will be, well, less revealing, Speedo this week introduced its LZR Racer, an overpriced and colorless unitard swimsuit that might make Michael Phelps faster but certainly also makes him look a whole lot less sexy.

And that’s a shame.

Phelps, expected to make a run for seven golds in the Beijing Olympics, helped unveil the suit, speedo_phelps.jpgpronounced Laser Racer, during a press conference Tuesday. Phelps gets a $1 million bonus from Speedo if he wins those seven golds, a record held by Mark Spitz.

Speedo claims the suit has 10 percent less drag than the Fastskin it launched before the 2004 Olympics. It features three pieces instead of 30, with the seams ultrasonically welded together instead of sewn. No doubt some of the reduction in drag comes from the reduction in package protrusions from the male swimmers who wear it, an observation made by the reader of a USA Today story about the product:

Apparently this suit turns its wearer into an anatomically neutral Ken doll. Lord.

Speedo is selling a basic version for us non-Olympians on its Web site, where advance orders are being taken for $550. Here’s hoping members of the Atlanta Rainbow Trout stay firmly tucked in their red Speedos.

The New York Times dissed the suit in a piece this morning, while gay blog Kenneth in the (212) also weighed in. Thanks to the boys at Lab Monkey Design for alerting us.

phelps.jpgUPDATE: Our friends at Outsports.com also took notice of the new one-piece. Their conclusion:

The all-body swimsuit is one of the great abominations ever invented by man.

And thanks to Jim Buzinski, one of the site’s co-founders, for digging up a photo of Phelps that reminds us why use of the swimming unitard is such a bad thing.


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