The High-Tech Texan Blog

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Technology

I was pretty impressed with the Opening Cermonies at the Beijing Olympics on Friday. Don't think there wasn't technology involved in making Li Ning "walk" across the Bird's Nest stadium to light the Olympic caldron. And how about that LED scroll that magically moved on the stadium floor? Cool and expensive stuff.

Technology seems to be a big topic at the XXIX Summer Olympics and no more so that a specific piece of equipment that can most certainly provide athletes an edge. And it is approved by all the sanctioning bodies. Any guesses?

The Speedo LZR Racer suit. According to Reuters, 22 of 2 swimmers who medaled in the games as of Monday morning wore a Speedo suit. Has any one company in modern times had so much dominance in a sport? I doubt it. At this pace, the Speedo brand is going to put some of its competitors out of business. Speedo commands about 60% of the swim apparel business with Tyr at about 20% and Nike with approxiomately 8%.

It's hard to explain the technology behind the suit but several swimmers were given permission by their swim apparel sponsors to wear the Speedo brand during the Olympics. It's tough to find a better endorsement than that.

And speaking of swimming, U.S. multi-gold medalist Michael Phelps now has eight gold medals to his name and three for this Olympiad. The bad news? He's not allowed to have any more friends.

On Friday, the day of the Opening Ceremony, Phelps reached the limit on his Facebook page of 5,000 friends. More than 1,600 come from the University of Michigan, where Phelps goes to school, almost 200 come from New York and about 170 friends come from Baltimore, his hometown.

But I'll still be your friend.

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