Swish hi-tech skeleton suits may give British skeleton riders the edge at the Winter Olympics.
Rival competitors are complaining the aerodynamic suits break the rules – but the revolutionary skinsuits have the go-head from the sport governing body.
The suits are based on those worn by Britain’s all-conquering cyclists in the last three Olympic Games.
The science behind the suits is believed to be rough motifs on the shoulders and the seams that disrupt air flow around the body.
Ordinary sports suits are sooth to aid the flow of air, but this leads to friction and slows the athlete.
The British skinsuits break up the air around the athlete’s head and shoulders, reducing friction and letting them move faster.
Secret suits speed up athletes
Each athlete has a custom-made suit made after a 3D body scan sitting, while their sleds are enhanced with graphene.
The design is so secret, the athletes get their suits and sleds just before the competition and then have to hand them back immediately the competition finishes to reduce the risk of rivals getting a chance to analyse them.
Brit Lizzy Yarnold believes the unspecified “innovations” could help her get into the medals.
“We don’t get hold of the technical innovations until the Olympics and as soon as we finish competing it all disappears into someone’s bag and is taken away,” she said. “But that innovation on the equipment side is where we can make massive gains.”
Already, the Olympic village in Pyeong Chang, South Korea, has been abuzz with protests about the suits.
Rivals claim suits aid cheating
The cheating clamour started after the first practice sessions the ice skeleton track.
All the British athletes posted vastly improved times which could put them in medal positions later in the week.
Many of the other teams claim the suits are cheating.
Sports engineering has put British athletes at the forefront of cycling at the Olympics, where the team has dominated the world for race after race.
Upgrading performance by redesigning clothing, helmets and bikes has given British athletes the edge over other competitors who regularly complain they beat the Brits at every competition but the Olympics when they appear in their special suits looking like super heroes.