THE new full-body swim suits had little impact at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, according to Indiana University Joel Stager. Stager, an exercise physiologist who has studied the suits,is the director of the I.U. Human Performance Laboratory. The full article will appear in the October-December issue of SWIMMING TECHNIQUE. You can subscribe to SWIMMING TECHNIQUE online, at http://www.swiminfo.com/swimshop/shop_detail.asp?iPid=348&iCatId=2
Stager analyzed the times of the swimming finalists at all the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials since 1968 to predict the times for the recent trials in Indianapolis. "Our assumption was that if no cataclysmic change occurs, we could predict the winning times with considerable accuracy," Stager said.
In 13 events for both men and women, his predictions were off by less than 1 percent. "Our studies showed
an error of 0.23 percent for women and 0.37 percent for men, which is extremely accurate and validates our procedures," he said. Stager, who is internationally known for his swimming research, said his findings show that using the new highly publicized body suits had virtually no effect on performance for elite American swimmers.
"We thought these new suits might improve performance times considerably, and if that had been the case, our predictions would have failed. This did not occur, which means these suits had little impact. We are now anxious to continue our studies at the Olympics in Australia," he said.