The man be­hind the mic

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Uk & World Update -

On a re­cent trip to France, I suf­fered an­other dose of swim­ming pool ig­nominy, when my choice of swimwear was deemed so of­fen­sive, that they chucked me out. My brightly coloured swim­ming shorts, de­signed to make a man of my shape look ac­cept­able on a beach or in a pool, were looked upon as a gar­ment ‘not in keep­ing’ with how men are sup­posed to look while swim­ming in pub­lic. I en­coun­tered a sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ence last year, which at the time I put down as an iso­lated in­ci­dent. An idiosyn­crasy of the small French town we were in.

And so, rat­tled as I am by the lu­nacy of these rules, I have in­ves­ti­gated the his­tory of tight swim­ming trunks.

They are de­fined on­line as an ‘un­der­pant­like gar­ment with a draw­string, of­ten worn by male swim­mers.’ The orig­i­nal Speedo de­sign was in­vented with the in­ten­tion of of­fer­ing greater speed while swim­ming com­pet­i­tively. With less ma­te­rial there is less drag, so the speed is in­creased when glid­ing through the wa­ter. Also the ma­te­rial of the swim­suit does not ab­sorb much wa­ter adding to the buoy­ancy.

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