As much as the Olympics are a test of humanity’s physical capabilities, these days the events are also an opportunity for equipment makers to show off their latest technologies designed to enhance an athlete’s performance. And it’s fitting that Under Armour’s new speedskating suit — which the company claims is the fastest in the world — is called the Mach 39, since it was developed with the help of Lockheed Martin.
As the photo of this ridiculously muscled athlete shows, winning gold at the Olympics is still dependent on every competitor’s performance. But when it comes to speedskating, the US Olympic team will have an extra edge with the Mach 39, which underwent 300 hours of wind tunnel testing and was analysed using computational fluid dynamics at Lockheed Martin to determine the optimal aerodynamic design.
Not only will its highly engineered moulded shape help skaters slice through the air, a repositioned zipper that bypasses the throat will make the suit more comfortable to wear. And in addition to strategically placed vents that help keep the athlete cool, a material the company calls ArmourGlide will help drastically reduce friction in the thigh area — which is very important in a competition, even if it looks like there’s am awkward spotlight pointed at the athletes’ crotches. [Under Armour]