Gold medalist Ryan Lochte swims in Speedo's Fastskin3 system, which incorporates two caps and custom-fitted goggles.
Credit Courtesy Speedo
Speedo created a new fabric to compress a swimmer's body three times as much as the old LZR Racer suits. Michael Phelps can get into his Fastskin3 swimsuit in a couple minutes, Speedo research manager Joseph Santry says, but for first-timers, it can take much longer.
Ninety-eight percent of medal winners that year wore the company's LZR Racer, a zip-sealed full-body suit that carried many top athletes — including Michael Phelps — to gold.
But after those games, the sport's international governing body changed the rules to outlaw the LZR by banning zippers and restricting mens' suit coverage from the navel to the knees. So Speedo went back to the drawing board and spent years developing what's now known as the Fastskin3 system.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried. You tried. It's OK to make a change.
RAZ: Part of a TV ad paid for by the Republican National Committee co-opting the theme of change from Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and using it against him. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us now as he does most Saturdays. Hello, Jim.