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.
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.
Columbia Lightning Rail Zipper
Zippers have always been inherently unsexy pieces of technology, but now the Performance and Innovation Team at Columbia sportswear has developed a laser-cut zipper that's bonded directly to fabric, resulting in less bulk, weight, and water leakage for skiers careening down a mountainside. Best of all? Give it a couple of years and they'll be on your jacket, too.