Speedos Send School Swim Budgets Skyrocketing

Those form-squeezing Speedo swimsuits that was such a boon at Beijing seem to be on the way out of the Olympics. But the sleek swimwear has found a new home in the collegiate swimming ranks.

Michael Phelps Speedo

With the success the swimsuits have had in setting world records - 82 new marks since the LZR suit was introduced last year - you would think college coaches & programs would dive right in in acquiring as many Speedos as possible. But there are a few concerns floating around out there.

As the WALL STREET JOURNAL points out, the first problem is cost. With the economy the way it is, and some people suggesting schools cut such sports as women’s basketball, fitting a swim team with the Speedo suits can cost a college up to $20,000. Quite a steep price tag for a non-revenue sport.

In addition, some coaches claim you really don’t get your money’s worth, as the suits tend to fall apart after only a dozen swims. (Speedo counters that with proper care, the suits can last up to 30 hours.) Of course, if a school wants to stay competitive, they’ll have to keep buying the high-priced suits. That’s capitalism for ya!

But that’s not the biggest offense to the coaches. What really irks them is the fact that the suits appear to give fatter swimmers an advantage:

Most troubling to coaches, the suits seem to help the flabby, lazier swimmers the most, because their fat gets compressed but remains more buoyant than dense muscle, allowing them to float higher in the water and swim faster.

What’s so troubling about that? About time there was something positive about packing on a few pounds!

The NCAA Division I championships are this weekend, and Speedo says that all swimmers who requested their suits will have them in time for the meets. But if they don’t show up, I suppose the swimmers can always swim nude. But then so much for the advantage of being fatter - unless your extra rolls gross out the competition and have them jumping out of the pool in disgust … thereby declaring you the winner by default.

Therese Alshammar

But swimming naked, you say? Surely the judges wouldn’t allow that. Well, they certainly don’t want you to wear more clothes - just ask Therese Alshammar.