Spandex: It’s a Privilege, Not a Right

January 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spandex: It’s a Privilege, Not a Right

Usually, this joke about spandex refers to its tendency to highlight the less-flattering elements of an unfit physique.

However, in the case of Olympic Ski Cross (making its Olympic debut at the 2010 Vancouver Games) and Snowboard Cross, this is no joke. Despite the fitness of its participants, and the serious competitiveness of the sports, International Ski Federation (FIS) rules for ski and snowboard cross require that competitors wear loose-fitting pants and tops.

As you might imagine, where mere fractions of a second can mean the difference between going home a gold-winning national hero or an obscure has-been, competitors look for whatever performance-enhancing edge they can find. In the case of ski and snowboard cross, this has meant the creeping appearance of more aerodynamic tighter-fitting clothes, and an escalating clash of new school vs. old school, style vs. function.

And it’s a big enough deal to make the cover of today’s New York Times sports section.


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