Filed Under:

Was One Skier's Underwear Too Slick?

Play associated audio

When Slovene World Cup Alpine skier Tina Maze opened her racing suit Sunday to reveal her sports bra beneath to all those looking on in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, it wasn't some kind of sexy strip show or joyous Brandi Chastain type of moment.

It was a protest.

Over a fuss being made about her underwear.

Not the bra, mind you, or the words she had written on it: "Not your business."

Rather, the message she wanted to send was that skiing authorities shouldn't be worried about whether the full body stocking she had worn under her suit during a previous race — when she came in second — gave her some sort of special advantage.

But there is indeed controversy over whether that underwear, which generated a complaint from the Swiss ski federation and has been confiscated and tested, might somehow have made Maze just a tiny bit less wind resistant than her competitors. It seems, as The New York Times has explained, that the material in the underwear contained some plastic. If that helped keep any wind from passing through her suit and instead sent it around her, Maze might have gotten a bit of an advantage.

And in the supercompetitive world of World Cup Alpine skiing, every miniscule bit of time is precious, as SKI Magazine editor in chief Greg Ditrinco explained earlier today to All Things Considered host Robert Siegel.

"The difference between first place and fifth place can be a matter of hundredths of a second," Ditrinco said.

So far, tests seem to show that Maze's suit was permeable enough to be allowed, the International Ski Federation has said. But its officials still want new, clearer rules on what is and isn't acceptable.

More from Robert's conversation with Ditrinco is due on today's All Things Considered. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show. Later, we'll add the as-broadcast interview to the top of this post.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Texas Bookseller Picks 3 Summer Reads

Julia Green of Front Street Books recommends Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig, City of Women by David R. Gillham and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.
NPR

He Used To Live On The Streets Of Mumbai. Now, His Cafe Welcomes Everyone

Amin Sheikh's new cafe is a rarity in class-stratified India: It's open to people from all walks of life. Sheikh is a former street child, and so are many of his employees.
NPR

For Many Black Voters, Trump's 'What Do You Have To Lose?' Plea Isn't Enough

Donald Trump promises to help bring jobs and security to black neighborhoods. But his poll numbers with African-Americans are in the low single digits, and many say his message is insulting.
WAMU 88.5

A Cyber-Psychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online

Dr. Mary Aiken, a pioneering cyber-psychologist, work inspired the CBS television series "CSI: Cyber". She explains how going online changes our behavior in small and dramatic ways, and what that means for how we think about our relationship with technology.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.