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Competitive swimming's dirty little secret
~By Mark Starr - GlobalPost Columnist
What was always sexy about the sport -- in a healthy rather than a salacious way -- was the great bodies that reflected the extraordinary dedication of these athletes. There were long and lean ones, short and stocky ones and pretty much everything in between.
Now all the bodies are hidden behind the same space-age fabrics. So when you've seen one swimmer, you've seen them all. They actually resemble boats more than human beings. However, if we want to watch boat races, there's far more beauty and pageantry in the America's Cup.
The good news is that I'm hardly the only one who has noticed that technology in the pool is a turnoff. FINA, the international swimming federation, commissioned a study of the new body suits earlier this year and is considering new regulations on swim gear at its meeting this week in Switzerland. For starters, it rejected 10 swimsuit models outright and is requiring modification of another 136 models (out of 348 swimsuits from 21 manufacturers studied by its committee).