Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Prof. Rick Sharp, co-designer of LZR Suit is ready for Olympic test
Prof. Rick Sharp, co-designer of LZR Suit is ready for Olympic test
07
Aug '08
Rick Sharp insists that it's the swimmer, and not necessarily the suit, that will ultimately produce a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Aug. 8-24.

That's essentially the same position the Iowa State University kinesiology professor took in a pair of research papers that prompted Jason Rance -- chief of Speedo's Aqualab global R&D center in England -- to call him back in 2004. Rance asked Sharp to join a team of outside experts to help Speedo build a better swimsuit.

The "better suit" has become Speedo's LZR Racer. It has already been worn by swimmers setting 48 world records since its February release, according to last week's Sports Illustrated cover story on U.S. swimming star Michael Phelps -- the suit's most celebrated user. In that same article, Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman, said the suit is helping swimmers drop a remarkable 2 percent off their best times.

The LZR Racer's impact has been so profound that it's now been profiled by numerous national media outlets. It's even been included in a display of costumes worn by comic book heroes in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"The suit has a lot of outstanding technical qualities, but it doesn't know how to swim," said Sharp, who also is director of ISU's kinesiology laboratories. "It's that interaction between talent and technology that makes it really special, I think. It's not going to take someone who's not already an elite world class swimmer and put them at that level. It can't do that. But it can help that elite athlete optimize that last little bit of performance they need to compete favorably, set a record, win a race -- unless, of course, the person in the next lane is also wearing the suit, which is going to happen (at the Olympics)."

The world's best swimmers will wear the suit
The buzz over the suit has been so loud that most of the world's best will be wearing it in Beijing. Sharp says that in addition to the U.S. team, the LZR Racer will also be worn by swimmers from Australia, Canada, England, the Netherlands and Japan, among others. The Japanese swimmers and coaches even petitioned their government to set aside an existing contract calling for Japanese manufacturers to provide their Olympic gear.

But who can blame them, given the pool record of Speedo's snug bodysuit.

"This many world records can't be argued with," said Sharp. "The suit is definitely having an impact."

You won't get any argument from 41-year-old Dara Torres, who will be the oldest woman to ever compete in Olympic swimming this year -- her fifth Olympic Games. Torres initially resisted wearing the LZR Racer because her past success came in smaller suits. But after seeing how it cut her time, she became a believer. She's now dropped 1.34 seconds off her 50-meter freestyle time from the 1988 Olympics.

"She's somebody who's been in the sport for a long, long time," said Sharp, who spoke with Torres in Speedo's February New York news conference. "She's seen all the developments come and go. And at the time that she was just starting in the sport, the trend was less, less, less in terms of coverage and fabric. And she now comes back into the sport later in life and comes to the realization that maybe that's not the best way to go and that maybe we can do better with more fabric -- if it's the right fabric and put together in the right design. That's kind of a cool perspective to have that she's gotten to experience that first hand."


Must ReadView All

India’s garment imports from Bangladesh up 56% post-GST

Apparel/Garments | On 12th Dec 2017

India’s garment imports from Bangladesh up 56% post-GST

India has imported $87.4 million worth of readymade garments from...

Coats acquires yarn manufacturer Patrick Yarn Mill

Textiles | On 12th Dec 2017

Coats acquires yarn manufacturer Patrick Yarn Mill

Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer, has...

Trade & consumers want MDR free digital payments: CAIT

Apparel/Garments | On 12th Dec 2017

Trade & consumers want MDR free digital payments: CAIT

Transaction charges like the merchant discount rate (MDR) applicable...

Interviews View All

Veronique Lee
Modavanti

‘Sustainable fashion is trending upwards, slowly but surely, as people...

Mohammad Mamun Ar Rashid
UL VS Bangladesh Ltd

Productivity, creativity and innovation play a vital role in the growth of ...

Akash Khetan
Narayan Tex Fab

I find it hard to find professionals in Surat

Ravindra Jain, Ashish Baid

Oswal Prints Private Limited has been manufacturing and exporting ethnic...

Sugandha Bhardwaj

<div>New Delhi-based Brinjal Designs Pvt Ltd manufactures home furnishing...

C Dhandayuthapani

MAG Solvics Private Limited was established in 1991 to design and develop...

Kerem Durdag
Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag, CEO, Biovation II LLC, provides an insight into future...

Eamonn Tighe
Nature Works LLC

Eamonn Tighe, Fibres and Nonwovens - Business Development Manager of...

Iago Castro Asensio
RCfil Distribuciones S.L.

Iago Castro Asensio, International Business Manager of RCfil...

Judy Frater
Somaiya Kala Vidya

Among the many honours showered on Frater, including Fulbright and Ford...

Mike Hoffman
Gildan Activewear SRL

Gildan Activewear, a manufacturer and marketer of branded clothing and...

Akta Adani
India Boulevard

India Boulevard is a San Francisco-based curated fashion marketplace that...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

December 2017

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Planning to Take the Leap towards
Sustainability?

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes No

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you see sustainability as a route to business growth?

Yes
69.2%
No
12.1%
Skip
18.7%

Total Votes: 91

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think the sustainability space has the needed tools and resources available for a business to lead change?

Yes
61.5%
No
30.8%
Skip
7.7%

Total Votes: 91

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes No

Active Poll

Do you think adopting a sustainable approach will be a profitable move for your business?

Yes
86.8%
No
9.9%
Skip
3.3%

Total Votes: 91

Thanks for your valuable feedback. Claim your free latest sustainability e-book.

Active Poll

Do you want the world to know about your sustainability journey and your business’ environmental footprint?

Yes
81.3%
No
8.8%
Skip
9.9%

Total Votes: 91


E-News Insight
Subscribe Today and Get the
Latest News Update in Your Mail Box.
Advanced Search