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Can a swimsuit make you swim faster?

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­If today's female Olympic swimmers were still weight­ed down by the swimming costumes of the 1890s, women would be "racing" in no less than stockings, bloomers and a short-sleeved dress. It took movie star and athlete Annette Kellerman boldly sashaying onto a beach in a one-piece in 1907 to make an important cut to swimsuits. Without her, women might still be sinking like stones in the water. At the very least, they wouldn't be breaking world records at the current rate. K­­ellerman was arrested for her troubles. ­Fast forward to the 1970s, when male swimm­ers wore spandex briefs the size of dinner napkins, following the idea that less material brought about faster times. Now, swimsuits are again approaching full-body coverage, this time trying to resurface the swimmer's body to be better than -- well -- the swimmer's body. ­Th­ese days, honest swimmers aren't trying to gain a lap­ on competitors, but to win by hundredths of a sec more
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Can a swimsuit make you swim faster? ­If today's female Olympic swimmers were still weight­ed down by the swimming costumes of the 1890s, women would be "racing" in no less than stockings, bloomers and a short-sleeved dress. It took movie star and athlete Annette Kellerman boldly sashaying onto a beach in a one-piece in 1907 to make an important cut to swimsuits. Without her, women might still be sinking like stones in the water. At the very least, they wouldn't be breaking world records at the current rate. K­­ellerman was arrested for her troubles. ­Fast forward to the 1970s, when male swimm­ers wore spandex briefs the size of dinner napkins, following the idea that less material brought about faster times. Now, swimsuits are again approaching full-body coverage, this time trying to resurface the swimmer's body to be better than -- well -- the swimmer's body. ­Th­ese days, honest swimmers aren't trying to gain a lap­ on competito more
science.howstuffworks.com
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