The Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit, designed with input from NASA, has made a huge splash, cannon-balling into the consciousness of people who do not know a flip turn from Flipper. Since the swimsuit was introduced in February, swimmers wearing it have sped to 22 of the 23 world records set.
Some have suggested that the corsetlike fit of the LZR suit not only streamlines the body but also engages the central nervous system in ways that previous suits did not. Others say privately that this new wave of swimwear is enhancing a swimmer’s buoyancy to a degree that could be considered performance-enhancing.
For the record, Speedo's new space girdle has been approved for the Olympics. The good news, I think, is that by 2016 the Olympics will be indistinguishable from the Columbian Exposition, and that along with the traditionally boring sports of discus and the rest we will have human cannonballs and other equally inspiring feats of engineering. That's an Olympic spirit I can get behind.