Speedo makes waves in Beijing

I bet you watched Michael Phelps get his 8th gold medal last night like I did.  And I bet you were pretty amazed at the fact that he set 7 world records in the process.  I was.

Much has been said about Phelp's prototype body made for the water.  Long wingspan, short legs, and size 14 flipper size feet have propelled him to victory.  But that's not all.  Many believe his swimsuit, that's right, his Speedo LZR as it's called, has helped shave off a few tenths of a second that were crucial to his victories.  Regarding the suit, Clare Mathewson from BBC News reports:

Three years in the making at the group's mystery-laden Aqualab, and aided by Nasa, the next-generation swimsuit sounds - and looks - like something superheroes would wear.

Its corset-like design holds the wearer's body in the optimum position, says Speedo.

The firm claims that the water-repellent fabric and laser bonded seams cut drag while the overall design is intended to improve oxygen intake by as much as 5%.

All of this led the US swimming team's coach to declare the suits could improve performance by 2% - a vital measure in a sport where hundredths of a second can mean a new world record, or the difference between a gold medal and leaving empty-handed.

Perhaps Phelps didn't need the "Super Speedo" to bring him 8 gold medals.  But I'm sure it didn't hurt.  And I'm sure it won't hurt Speedo's sales in the coming years either.