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Check Out the High-Tech Suit U.S. OIympic Rowers Are Wearing

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You’ve likely heard the horror stories about the polluted rowing courses in Rio, where athletes are expected to compete in water replete with raw sewage. Tests have shown that “Olympic athletes are almost certain to come into contact with disease-causing viruses that in some tests measured up to 1.7 million times the level of what would be considered hazardous on a Southern California beach." Swallowing just three teaspoons of the water undoubtedly means a viral infection for the poor sap who ingests it (there’s a 99 percent chance of infection).

Enter the new rowing suit made by U.S. company Boathouse, whose founder and CEO, John Strotbeck, is a two-time Olympic rower himself. The one-piece "unisuit" has antimicrobial properties, but that's not even the most innovative thing about it. The feature the athletes are more likely to talk about is the lack of seams, which is an incredibly important detail when you consider the number of hours athletes spend making repetitive motions during training and competition.

The suits are made using an electronic knitting machine that is typically used to make delicate garments like hosiery. Because of the knitting process, and because each suit is made to custom measurements, there’s almost no fabric waste left over. And it's insanely lightweight: The entire suit weighs less than seven ounces.

And while the antimicrobial finish is a nice bonus, it’s probably not going to work any miracles—the suit still leaves most of the rowers’ bodies exposed, and the biocides aren’t great at killing viruses anyway. Still, every little bit helps.

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How to Tie Your Shoes With One Hand, According to a Paralympian
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Megan Absten lost her left arm in an ATV accident when she was 14, but the injury hasn't stopped her from doing extraordinary things like competing for the U.S. track and field team in the Paralympics. Nor has it stopped her from completing everyday tasks that most people need two hands for—like tying her shoes. After the shoe-tying methods she learned in physical therapy didn't cut it for her, she had to come up with her own one-handed trick. She shares her process in a new video spotted by Lifehacker.

First things first: Lay your laces on either side of your shoe. Next, use your hand to cross them and tuck one end through to make the beginning of your knot. Pin the end of one lace beneath the bottom of your foot to hold it tight, then pull the second lace up with your hand.

Now, you're ready to make your bunny ears. Create a loop with the free lace and pinch it between your thumb and index finger. Then, use your middle finger to grab the lace that you’ve been holding under your shoe. Circle this string around the loop, then push it through the opening to create your second bunny ear. Tighten the new knot by sticking your index finger and thumb in each loop and spreading them wide.

Watch Absten explain the process for herself in the video below. If you're feeling more advanced, she also demonstrates a second technique for you to try.

Once you've mastered those methods, try out these shoe hacks for happier feet.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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2018 Winter Olympics By the Numbers: Which Country Was the Big Winner in Pyeongchang?
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, AFP/Getty Images
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND, AFP/Getty Images

The closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics was held on Sunday, February 25, concluding more than two weeks of history-making figure-skating jumps and listening to curlers yell at each other. But if you're someone who tunes in to the Olympics only to see your country win, you may have been left feeling confused. There was no official winner announced at the end of the event, so how are you supposed to know which nation dominated the Winter Games? Judging solely by medal count, these are the countries that skied, skated, and slid their way to the top in Pyeongchang.

According to Bloomberg, Norway came out of the games as the most decorated country. The Scandinavian nation of 5.3 million took home 11 bronze, 14 silver, and 14 gold medals, bringing the total to 39. That makes Norway the biggest single nation winner at any Winter Olympics, breaking the prior record of 37, which was set by the U.S. at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Norway was represented by about half the number of athletes competing on Team USA, but it was bolstered by a few advantages—like long winters (making training for cross-country sports easier), universal healthcare, and a culture that encourages young athletes to play sports for the sake of play rather than for the sake of winning.

Germany tied Norway for the most golds with 14, but earned 10 silver and seven bronze medals, landing them in second place with 31. Canada ranked third with 29 medals overall, 11 of which were gold, and the United States came in fourth with a tally of 23 medals, including nine golds. The Netherlands, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, France, and Austria round out the top 10.

Teams used to spending a lot of time on the podium may strive for that top slot, but placing in any event is impressive. The majority of teams that competed went home without any medals to show for their efforts. Fortunately, they have until 2022 to prepare for the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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