I agree with your comment, that there should be a balance in the completion of sports. But there comes a point where technology will be so dependent on athletes that there will need to be changes such as the FINA ban. Sports need to focus more on the talent of the swimmers rather on how much money they need to spend on their swim suits. Swimming is evolving into a very competitive sport, but we can't entirely create new regulations every year because it will take a while to go in effect. Yes, FINA created a huge issue that the swimming world has to deal with, but Barak talks about how there will be more suits that will be made to help the athletes continue doing what they were doing. This is just another bump in the road, and before you know it we won't bother this issue any longer.
We can imaging this: a swimming suite made of nano-things with energy harvest miniatures (from the wave), and the energy is used to drive mini-motors to propel the player. We know who will win even before the game started. So, the high-tech swim-suite should not be allowed, it is way too unfair.
This is rediculous. Technology has been used in all sports to make the human body more comparable with the element they're competing in. What, do you think that runners wear those skin tight full-body suits because they look cool? NO! They wear them to make themselves more streamline!
There should be a balance on what is not allowed and what is allowed in sports competition, as long as the field is even for all participants, it does not matter what technology, one should use, the opposing athlete will also have access to, he may choose to use one or not, it is his choice, back in my early days of collage swimming competition, some swimmers choose ordinary swimming trunks while we choose Speedo trunks, we were a laughing stock as being immodest in a clean sport, now ,look who’s wearing them… it boils down to fair and level access to swimwear .
The problem with regulating sports technology is it is impossible to set logical bounds. Ex: at one point in time only cotton was available for suites. Should Lycra have been prohibited? Nearly every sport has benefited from technology: tennis (racquet and shoe design); cycling (unimaginable changes in materials and bike computer aided design), skiing (ski design and materials) and the list goes on. Are we also going to limit technology in training?
It's a winsome thought to go back to competing in the nude with homemade equipment - great equalizers. And, yes, the expense of technology bars some from competing - very true in cycling. But, since there is no logical stopping point where we say the technology of three years ago is ok but today's is not, we are stuck with better athletes made even better by better equipment.
Duane, I am with you on the purity aspect of the sport and technology. Where I would draw the line is at active physical assisting of the performance. Examples would include: buoyant suits making it easier to swim (less effort to float more in propulsion), springs in running shoes, motors in rowing,etc. I am not adverse to slipperier materials, better made seems (or seamless construction), more (or less for that matter) coverage of the athletes' body, etc.
What makes this tough is the rate at which change that is occurring. There have always been innovations technically, but also through the sensors and analytical tools used in training - and Michael Phelps is sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber - is tb1 (above) going to buy one of those for his son??? A level playing field has always been a fantasy although a worthwhile goal (for the democrats anyway ;) We definitely need to take the technology into account and qualify all records perhaps - shoes, steroids, aerodynamics, diet, high altitude training you can't really compare athletes of today with athletes from decades past evenly.
It is a shame that there are no level playing fields, and for many people that distorts to me what is the main attraction of the people who push themselves so hard - to be inspirational to us all and especially our children.
50 years ago before advertising there were very few "pro" athletes. Except for professional sports teams many had to pay their own way, and their ability to push their physical limits were limited. State sponsored athletics really pushed that system of "normal" people pushing themselves and competing against others.
The game now has gone to the point that you not only have to have the skills, training, practice, diet and $$$, but also be genetically gifted - although it is amazing what a few exceptional people on the edge can do (Love the movie Gattaca). I believe my son is less inspired by today's basketball players because they are so tall and strong that there is little in common with them and 99.999% of the population.
Keeping it inspirational is my main goal, and setting the records is secondary although very entertaining, it really is about the person, their journey and their results. My 20cents..
The problem I have with the ban is simply that someone, a committee, then needs to define the precise technical parameters of the allowed swimsuits -- drag coefficient, buoyancy, maximum area of skin coverage, etc., and in so doing, they are still defining technical attributes of the suits. They're simply not allowing the most efficient or effective suits.
I suppose the most fair alternative would be to require the athletes to swim naked. But would they still be allowed to shave off body hair?