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Adidas Equipment Bodysuit

Date: c 2000
Overall: 1230 x 1220 mm, 3 mm, 0.26 kg
Medium: Teflon coated light weight elastane (spandex or Lycra)
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Adidas Australia Pty Ltd
Object Name: Swimsuit
Object No: 00037818
Place Manufactured:Italia

User Terms

    The original design of this Adidas Equipment Bodysuit was launched in 1998. After receiving feedback from world champion swimmers, such as Ian Thorpe, the company made a number of modifications. The new suit was anatomically shaped to follow the natural contours of the human body, and featured stroke specific styles, with backstroke and breast stroke versions featuring shortened arms and legs.

    This full length Teflon coated light weight Lycra bodysuit is black with blue double stripes down each side. The front of the costume bears a blue Adidas logo on the upper chest and upper back, and has a plastic zip up the back. It is a size small.

    SignificanceThis Italian made swimsuit documents the new technologies developed to enhance swimming performance. It also highlights the increased pressure on athletes to improve their swimming times, and the role of sponsorship in the modern Olympics.
    HistoryAs swimming records got harder to break, new technologies were developed to assist the swimmers. Competition at the Olympic Games spurred this development, with Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe stating "Everyone is looking for the best technology. When winning comes down to hundredths of a second everyone wants an advantage" (Daily Telegraph, 1st September 1999, p74).

    The Adidas Equipment Bodysuit is a good example of this new technology. The suit is designed to reduce drag, increase accuracy of movement and reduce muscle fatigue. The Bodysuit is also closely linked to issues of sponsorship. At the time of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Ian Thorpe, sponsored by Adidas, was wearing the Adidas Equipment Bodysuit in competition. There was a small furore, however, when he wanted to use it at the Games. The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) refused to allow Ian Thorpe to wear it because it contravened their sponsorship agreement with Speedo.

    Speedo was the sponsor of the Australian Olympic team, and all of its members had to wear Speedo's equipment. The AOC initially stuck by the rights of its sponsors over the wishes of the athlete, though they later allowed Thorpe to wear the bodysuit at the Games. Interestingly, Speedo was Ian Thorpe's sponsor for races held in Australia.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Adidas Equipment Bodysuit


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