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The Winter Olympics 2010: Dutch Speed Skaters Mum on New Suit

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February 16, 2010

The Dutch are at it again.

Winners of five gold medals at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, the Netherlands speed skating team is counting on body suits made of secretive material to get them atop the podium again.

Take a brief look at the black-and-orange body suit and you see what looks to be the kind of outfit that athletes from other countries will be wearing when they toe the ice line in pursuit of Olympic glory. But look a little closer and you'll see … well, you'll just have to wait. Dutch team officials aren't talking specifics, but they are talking up their claim that they have an advantage.

The Dutch team has taken the step of stepping away from Nike, which provided the Swift suits that they have worn for the past eight years. The suits that the team used in Nagano had been shown to reduce drag in wind tunnel testing. And with speed skating, less drag can translate into more speed. Whether that kind of lightning-in-a-bottle can strike again in Vancouver remains to be seen. But if the suits do prove successful, don't hold your breath waiting for the secret. The team director says that they are bound by an agreement with the suit-makers to keep quiet about the special ingredients until 2014.


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