Even the gold-medal winning USA gymnast Simone Biiles has to safety pin a bib on her $1,200 leotard at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Today’s athletes won’t settle for less than sweat-wicking singlets, form fitting speed suits, and computer-modeled polyurethane fabrics with aerodynamic properties. And it’s not just normal nylon, Lycra, Spandex, polyester and polyurethane fibers we’re talking about. When Nike unveiled the TurboSpeed in 2012, it featured golf-ball type dimples in the surface of the polyester, with the dimples positioned to improve running performances. The Speedo LZR, introduced at the Beijing Olympics, was so fast it helped swimmers break 130 speed records in 17 months following the games and was eventually banned from the sport. Suffice it to say, A LOT of thought goes into creating performance wear for athletes, especially at the Olympic level. So why. oh why–I’m wondering– do the Olympians still have to take safety pins in hand and destroy all that beauty and aerodynamic research when they pin on those hideous, flapping, awkward, wind-catching number or name bibs? It’s bad enough that the runners have to find enough fabric on their running suits to which they can be pinned. But what about the gymnasts that have to puncture their $1200 Swarovski-crystal studded custom leotards? It’s hard to believe that in this day and age a better alternative hasn’t been made available to athletes. I know the technology exists. I know that there are high quality, pressure sensitive adhesives out there and that the ability to digitally print custom names and numbers for any number of athletes on demand is not a problem. I’m know I’m not the only one that thinks this way. Sincerely looking forward to the day when the Olympic Committee bans safety pins.