I’m obsessed with the Olympics. There I admitted it. I’ve actually always loved the Olympics – both summer and winter. So as you may imagine over the last few days I’ve been watching a lot of Olympic swimming competitions. And you may have noticed like I did how hairless and smooth all the male swimmers’ bodies are. (I also noticed that male divers shave their chests but not their legs) I know that swimmers shave off their body hair in order to avoid causing any drag in the water. Since we know that Olympic swim events are now won by the difference of hundredth of a second that actually makes a lot of sense. But it turns out that there is another reason to shave and that reason is exfoliation. Shaving removes dead skin cells and reveals fresh new skin which helps the swimmers feel and sense the water better.
But, of course, I got to wondering just how are these athletes removing all their hair? It turns out that I wasn’t the only one wondering this. Vanity Fair interviewed Olympic swimmer Ricky Berens and asked him the following:
Now, one of my friends insisted that I ask about depilation. I’m sure different swimmers use different tactics, but how do you get rid of all that aerodynamic-sapping hair?
Women’s shaving cream. We always just shave. Once or twice a year. No special waxes or anything. We do our own thing. We’ve always heard that the women’s extra-hydrating is best for us, because it makes our skin soft, instead of men’s shaving cream, because that’s for the face.
Does soft skin have some aerodynamic advantage?!?
No, it’s just for soft skin. The chlorine in the pools just kills your skin.
Now I am asking myself – since chlorine is so terrible for your skin what are Olympic swimmers skin rituals? I’ll have to keep looking for that answer.
Sources and Further Reading:
- Why Swimmers Shave Their Bodies – Active
- What Do Swimmers Do To Remove Body Hair? – Live Strong
- The Reasons Swimmers Will Shave
- How Does Shaving Help Swimmers Swim Faster? - eHow
Image from star-telegram.com