When the first sports were conceived, the athletes involved just played the game. In the 21st century, that has all changed. Sports are now a science. Instead of just taking it play by play, we analyze, study, graph and dissect. There are now metrics in every sport that can pinpoint the ultimate weaknesses of any team or individual.
Teams and coaches aren’t the only ones trying to get an edge, performance clothing companies are conducting seemingly ridiculous tests to produce the most efficient clothes, shoes, and accessories possible. Nike, being the number one sporting good company in the world, is at the forefront of future performance research. In this particular case, they’ve taken a page from an unlikely sport to produce the fastest performance running wear in history. The discovery is set to make it’s debut at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London.
The blisteringly fast track suit is being dubbed the Nike Pro Turbospeed. It is the result of over 1,000 hours of testing and insight from some of the most fit athletes in the world. The maximum performance suit emulated golf ball dimple technology to achieve the least amount of drag possible. The aerodynamic technology found in golf balls works by “creating a thin layer of turbulent air molecules right on the surface of the ball. Those molecules follow the curve of the ball’s surface better than they would on a smooth ball, which reduces the size of the wake behind the ball.” Nike used wind tunnels to place the dimple pattern sections in the precise spots to mimic that effect.
The Pro Turbospeed performance wear is even green; being made of 82% recycled polyester. Nike claims that it reduces athlete speeds by just over two hundredths of a second in the 100 yard dash. It may not seem like much, but in a sport where titles and records and won and broken by the slimmest of margins, this future running technology makes a big difference. Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation, and in the incredibly demanding precision world we live in, athletes need every advantage they can get. We’ll see it on the track in London this summer, how long before we see this type of technology seep into other sports? For more on other athletic innovations you can expect to see this summer, check out Nikeinc.com.
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