Congratulations goes to the new 400m IM world record holder Katie Hoff. Without a doubt, some credit goes to the low-drag Speedo LZR Racer Swimsuit she was wearing. Nevertheless, she is a powerful swimmer.
The important questions to ask are this fair and is she any faster than a swimmer 20 years ago not using this swimsuit?
Since technology continues improve, I doubt that her record will stand very long. You can only push the human body to certain limits. All other records in the past 20 years were the result of some advancement in science whether that’s in a form of Speedo LZR swimsuit or some other enhancement.
But what other alternatives do athletes have? We can’t have them racing around naked can we? This of course would yield the true measure of the human body and we would have records that only the brave and modest would attain.
But I doubt that we would see Katie Hoff or any other swimmer in this form outside of Naked Olympics. While her record stands for the moment, it will not last long and will be broken again this summer in China.