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Ask Ethan: Do Blue Skate-Suits Really Go Faster Than Red Ones?

24 Feb 2018, 15:01 UTC
Ask Ethan: Do Blue Skate-Suits Really Go Faster Than Red Ones?
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In late 2017, Norway switched from their traditional red to the new blue speed skating suits. Sverre Lunde (white), Simen Spieler (red) and Allan Dahl Johansson (yellow) of compete in the men’s team pursuit at the World Cup. Image credit: Alex Goodlett — ISU via Getty Images.The medal-winning Norwegian team had a most unusual explanation for why their speed skaters wore blue. Is there any science to back it up?Every four years, the Olympics come around, and the greatest athletes from all over the world come together to compete. Although the competition is friendly, there’s a tremendous amount of science and engineering behind how an athlete trains, conditions, and works to maximize their natural gifts. Not to be outdone, the technology supporting these athletes has also changed and improved tremendously, resulting in a kind of athletic arms race to maximize the athletic performance of each country’s members. Recently, a rumor has gone around about speed skating and the color of the skate suits, claiming that blue is the fastest color. Sound crazy? It does to Pamela Holt, who asks:Ethan, I’ve been watching the Olympics, and I heard that it’s been proven that blue skate suits are faster than red. Is ...

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