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New ski suits shed turbulence

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The Canadian ski team unveils sports wear for 2002 Olympics

Whistler is one of the 400 Canadian cities going to Salt Lake City for the Olympics in February, at least in spirit. I believe we’re located on the left abdomen, below Port Colbourne, Ontario.

The Canadian Alpine Ski Team showed off its alpine racing wear, dubbed the "Cities Suit," in Japan on Jan. 17, and they’re nothing like you’ve ever seen before. They are flame coloured, with dark reds and bright yellow patches blending into one another. And as an added design touch, the suits are covered with the names of 400 Canadian cities.

Descente, the ski wear company that designed and manufactured the suits, is using the Olympics to show off their new design and high performance sportswear technology. Not only do they look different, Team Canada’s new ski suits will perform differently as well.

The suits incorporate Descente’s new VORTEX C1 fabric, which will reduce air turbulence around the skiers and improve their stability – at speeds in excess of 100 km an hour in some events the air can get a little rough.

The new material features a finely embossed, wave-like pattern. The wave shaped grooves help to suppress turbulence and reduce the vibrations experienced by the athletes that threaten to upset posture, stability and control.

The suit also provides compression to the muscles, which can reduce muscle fatigue and stimulate maximum power.

Similar concepts have already been incorporated into Descente’s line of high performance swimwear, and were proven effective at the 2001 FINA Swimming Championships.

The designer, Eiko Ishioka, modeled the suit on the body’s thermographic heat patterns. The names of communities with a population greater than 500 in Canada were added, and the home towns of athletes are slightly larger to give them a boost.

CAST needed new suits because their current racing suits include the names of sponsors, which is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee.

Descente North America is a Summit Sponsor of Alpine Canada Alpin, and has been a strong supporter of ski racing in Canada for numerous years.

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