Two of the stars of Australia’s Rio Olympic swimming campaign Mack Horton and Emma McKeon were front and centre in Sydney today when iconic aquatic brand Speedo unveiled its exclusive sports uniform range for this year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Speedo Olympic and Paralympic swim suit launch has always been a milestone event every four years and today’s reveal certainly lived up to all expectations at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre – for over 25 years Australia’s pool of dreams.
Revealing that the 2021 Speedo competition suits are built around a combination of “Intent and Valor.”
And in addition to the pool racing swimwear Speedo will also provide the competition swimwear for water polo players, divers and surfers – with surfing making its Olympic debut in Tokyo.
Speedo executives reminded the assembled swimming family, including legendary triple Olympic champion Dawn Fraser, that swimming and Speedo formed a life-long partnership that forms a special part of the country’s sporting DNA – an Olympic relationship very much joined at the hip.
Olympic and Paralympic Team bosses arrived in a huge show of strength that this year’s Games in Tokyo are all go – despite the constant growing threat of a COVID cloud hanging over the world.
Australia is a swimming nation that has been and will continue to be inspired by the stories, strength and determination of Australia’s athletes like Horton, the Olympic champion and the memory of his last gasp Midas touch to win gold in the 400m freestyle in 2016.
A boy born in the 1956 Olympic city of Melbourne– who after years of hard work, wrote his own chapter of swimming greatness – following the country’s biggest names Murray Rose (1956, 1960), Brad Cooper (1972) and Ian Thorpe (2000 and 2004) to win 400m freestyle gold.
And McKeon, the most successful medallist in 2016, who won gold, two silvers and a bronze in Rio – has become the Dolphins lynchpin in the team’s major international campaigns – winning no less than 40 medals in Olympic, World, Commonwealth Games and Pan Pac competitions.
Horton and McKeon led a parade of Australian champions, faces of a launch, which becomes a line in the sand for a swim team that is preparing for the June Olympic Trials in Adelaide next month.
Joining the parade were their Rio team mates, relay bronze medallist Jake Packard, 200m butterfly medallist and world champion relay swimmer Brianna Throssell, 10km marathon swimmer Chelsea Gubecka and Tokyo hopefuls, former world record holder over 200m breaststroke Matt Wilson, four-time World Junior champion Lani Pallister and world championship relay gold medallist Clyde Lewis.
Australia’s swimmers will lead a host of fellow athletes from diving, water polo and surfing who will line up in Tokyo in Speedo’s innovative competition racing and training suits.
Divers, triple Olympian and Beijing silver medallist Melissa Wu and 10m Tokyo hopeful Sam Fricker put on a display of synchronised diving – Wu preparing for an amazing fourth Olympics in the 10m individual and Fricker preparing for next month’s Trials in Sydney and a possible Olympic debut and one of the two individual platform spots for the men.
Australia’s dynamic Paralympic swimmers were out in force as well, including Rio gold medallists, triple Paralympic champion Brenden Hall, six-time gold medallist and triple Paralympian Ellie Cole, 2016 breaststroke golden girl Tiffany Thomas-Kane, joined by aspiring Paralympians Keira Stephens and Col Pearse.
And what will the Australian swimmers be wearing in Tokyo?
The team’s pool competition wear features Speedo’s latest tech race suits; Fastskin Pure Intent and Fastskin Pure Valor, both designed to combine 20 years of pioneering performance with innovative new technologies and new fabrics to make the perfect suit for every type of competitive aquatics athlete.
The Fastskin Pure Intent is designed around a deeper understanding of hydrodynamics and the biomechanics of swimming, with its flexible zoned compression, giving the swimmer a wider range of motion in the legs and making it easier to put on and more comfortable to wear. There are three brand new fabrics which directly target flexibility, compression and drag reduction in the areas that need it.
The Fastskin Pure Valor is Speedo’s most lightweight technical swimsuit and features moderate compression along with bonded seams for comfort and speed.
Melbourne-based Horton says he believes the Speedo Fastskin Pure Intent the best racing suit in the world.
“I’m really looking forward to wearing it this year,” said Horton.
And Australia’s most decorated female swimmer, McKeon added “The Speedo Fastskin Pure Intent is a lot easier to put on. The shoulders are much more comfortable and I feel fast wearing it! When I stand on the blocks, I’m feeling confident that the suit is going to help me.”
Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Hall said: “Speedo has always been at the forefront of swimsuit technology and an important part of my medal winning performances at the Games. I know I can swim my best in Fastskin.”
For the Tokyo Olympics, Speedo has returned to nature to look at how sharks and other fish reduce drag when they swim.
Some of the world’s leading research institutions have looked not only at the skin features of fish in existence now, but also at the ancestors of modern day sharks, that have long been extinct.
Speedo has also worked with the Natural History Museum in London as well as with partners in other industries, including Formula 1, with the latest Fastskin suits, the smartest to date.
Speedo Brand Manager, Graham Eyres, said Speedo was excited and proud to be revealing the Tokyo outfits.
“Speedo is part of the Aussie DNA and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games we will all be inspired by the stories, strength and determination of our nation’s athletes, “Eyres said.
“With that inspiration we want to encourage all Aussies to make waves in their own way, by participating in an aquatic sport and do a really Aussie thing – just have a go in a Speedo.”
Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission said “Speedo has a rich Olympic history, providing Australian Olympians with the best competition and training wear since the 1956 Melbourne Games. They have developed a cutting edge uniform for Tokyo 2020 to help our athletes in aquatic sports achieve world class performances, and I’m sure our swimmers, divers, water polo players and surfers will wear their Speedo Australian Olympic Team gear with pride.”
Australian Paralympic Team Chef de Mission Kate McLoughlin, said: “Our Paralympians know when they put on the green and gold Speedos they are ready to perform for Australia. The Paralympic swimwear also incorporates our unique indigenous design, The Journey, depicting the genesis of the Paralympic family and how far we’ve all come together. I know it will be worn with pride.”
There was also a look to the future with age group athletes Indigo Chong and Bada Kang from the local SOPAC Swim Team also in attendance, sporting the Speedo limited edition replica collection. This range is a reproduction of the training swimwear for the Olympic Games and made for Aussies to be able to get into the Green and Gold spirit over the games. It can be purchased in selected aquatic centres, rebels, online and at Speedo stores.
Indego Chong said “It was great to wear the same swimwear as these amazing swimmers. I got to meet Mack Horton and ask him what it’s like to swim in the Olympics and win a gold medal.”
Source: Ian Hanson