Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ian Thorpe considers the FINA speedsuit meeting a mugging or "beat up."

Ian Thorpe is pro-speedsuit and he wants swimming to move forward with them. According to Ian, the FINA meeting last weekend was a "mugging" whereas several several speedsuit manufacturers were "beat up." Here is what he had to say:

"If you look at it historically, swimsuits have progressed since the early 1900s," Thorpe said. "When we talk about the swimsuits now the claims of how much they improve performance have been less significant than some of the claims that have been made in the past.

"It's something that's just beat up over and over again. For most of the swimmers, we're happy to swim in them. The only question that I may agree with some people is the fairness at that kind of intermediate level, when we are talking about kids wearing these things.

"We know that they are more expensive and so that people have equal access to what they swim in, I think we can make some new judgment and assessments on that kind of level."


One attendee told me that Rocket Science was never shown any measurable data, nor any hard evidence as to why long arm suits should be banned. None. No studies, no side-by-side comparisons, or drag tests. I spoke with another attendee and he said FINA's attitude was, "well, we have to give [the governing bodies] something!"

I am beginning to think that the meeting was a political "dog and pony show" to appease the national governing bodies rather than the swimmers at large. I think masters will ignore the ban and FINA will look the other way or make special rules for masters swimmers.

I feel the sport will grow as as a result of speedsuits; I think it will contract without them. To ban or heavily restrict speedsuits will result in fewer sponsored swimmers, fewer meets, fewer open water events, and way less money to spend on swimming related products.

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