Controversy Brews Over Skiers' Underwear

Compression suits cut wind resistance

Jan 18, 2012
Outside Magazine

A controversy over underwear has ski racers and officials up in arms following Slovenian skier Tina Maze's second-place run in a recent World Cup super-g while wearing a plastic compression suit. The International Ski Federation has yet to decide whether the new underwear—full-body composit plastic suits that may reduce wind drag at high speeds—violate rules about underwear moisture permeability. The controversy exploded after the Swiss ski federation challenged Maze's runner-up finish in January 8. The FIS ruled that Maze's suit was acceptable, but recommended that women not wear similiar underwear for unspecified health reasons and said that men wearing plastic underwear would be disqualified. U.S. Ski Team coach Sasha Rearick expressed concern that the rules remain unclear. "Is it the suits themselves? There are a lot of question marks,” he said. Maze appeared at a race this weekend with the words “Not your business” written across her sports bra.

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