‘High Tech’ Swimsuit Causes Some Concern At State Meet
What some call a “high-tech swimsuit” that first made a splash at this summer’s Olympic Games is now causing controversy at this weekend’s state high school swim meet.
While the suit is legal, some argue that it gives wearers an unfair advantage, WISC-TV reported.
The item in question is called the Blue Seventy Nero, a wet suit fit for Olympic swimmers and chosen by several high school competitors, like Madelynn Wallen.
“I love it. I just got it,” said Wallen. “It makes your legs float, and when you push off the wall, it really makes you feel a lot lighter and it really makes it a lot easier on your legs.”
Adds swimmer Caelainn Donnellan, “It’s sort of supposed to give people buoyancy and it compresses your muscles so you don’t get fatigued as quickly. That’s one of the advantages of it.”
But the advantages of the suit are tempered by some concern, particularly over its price, which is upwards of $400.
Mark Kryka, Verona High School athletic director, said he’s worried about what the swimsuit will mean for the sport.
“High school sports should be for everyone, and I don’t know if everyone can afford that kind of technology to compete. And it’s unfortunate if that can’t be offered to everybody,” he said.
Tim Ritchie, James Madison Memorial High School athletic director, added, “You can buy a hockey stick for $300 or a hockey stick for $120. Does that $300 hockey stick make that make that kid that much better? And those are questions we all have to grapple with.”
Despite their supposed advantages, the Blue Seventy Nero isn’t for everyone. “I don’t have it because I really like the fast skins because I’ve had them for a while and I trust them a lot,” said Donnellan.
Whether it boosts performance or confidence or both, the high-tech suit may be only part of what makes a true champion of the water.
According to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, the suits are legal, but can be illegal in high school competition if more than one team member has a Blue Seventy Nero logo visible. Swimmers either black it out with a marker or cover it with a sticker, WISC-TV reported.