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South Korea is set to unveil new uniforms for their Olympic athletes that could hurt the performances but will be better suited for protecting them from insect-borne viruses.
The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced that the new uniforms will include long-sleeved shirts and pants, according to Yonhap News. In addition, the uniforms will be made out of “special medicated cleansing fibers with insect repellent effects.”
With about 100 days to go until the start of the Olympics, one of the biggest issues for athletes remains the threat of the Zika virus which is carried by mosquitoes.
While the Korean government should be commended for being proactive in the protection of their athletes, it will be interesting to see how the athletes react to the new uniforms. After competing in a different style of uniform their entire lives, they are now being asked to do something completely different in the biggest events of their careers and they will have to do it in the heat and humidity of Brazil.
According to the report, short sleeves and shorts may still be worn by the athletes if necessitated by the rules in a particular sport and “functionality problems.” It is unclear if that also includes simple personal preference.
The uniforms will be unveiled on Wednesday.