FINA, the international governing body of swimming, has banned performance-enhancing “non-textile” swimsuits as of January 1, 2010, but has tabled the determination of “what is a textile?” until later this Fall.
FINA has some fine-tuning ahead. Its ruling says that only “allowable textiles” will be permitted, but that term has not been defined. In the art world, the definition of “textile” is quite expansive. Polyurethane would certainly be included if it was braided or plaited or woven or the like. According to WiseGEEK, “polyurethane is an incredibly resilient, flexible, and durable manufactured material that can take the place of paint, cotton, rubber, metal, and wood in thousands of applications across all fields.” Like tyvek®, mylar, fiber optic and stainless steel threads, it sounds like a promising material for artistic exploration — if not for athletic competition.
What Do You Think??
So, what should FINA consider when it takes up the question at its next bureau meeting this month or next? As SwimNews.com opined: “Definition of textile is important, profile specification is important, having no zipper is important. Work to be done.”
Here’s your chance: Do you have any advice for FINA on crafting its definition of “allowable textiles”? Let us know.