Olympic Athletes Take High-Tech Gear For A Test Drive At The 2014 Winter Games

What will gold-medal hopefuls be wearing in Sochi to help them jump higher, skate faster, and score better than the rest? Behold the latest cutting-edge competition and training equipment.

You might assume Olympic competitors rely solely on superhuman physical prowess to achieve their remarkable feats—and you're not entirely wrong. It takes a stupidly gifted athlete to make gliding around an icy track at 40 mph look easy. But not even Olympians are above a little technological help. Over the years, the winter games have given us some amazing innovations—optimized textiles, next-level equipment, and ultra-smart training gear—and Sochi is no different. Below, a guide to what some medal hopefuls will be using (if not wearing) to make themselves better, faster, and stronger at the games.

Nike LunarENDOR Quickstrike Boot
Snowboarders are the flashy badasses of the winter games. For high-tech swagger, they'll be wearing this Quickstrike boot from Nike. The first thing you'll notice is the glowing swoosh, which is made up of 30 LEDs powered by an embedded lithium ion battery. But the real tech is underneath. Nike padded the boot with its Lunarlon foam, a cushioning layer that was developed by observing astronauts bounding on the moon. This provides athletes with a softer, more responsive ride while keeping their legs and hips properly aligned. There's also a 3D molded upper and Flywire inner lacing system, which means no unsupportive wiggle room.

Images courtesy of respective companies; Evan Krape, University of Delaware (5)
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