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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.

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.

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