is more likely to show ladies out of their swimsuits, but in the first week of August, the Web site will feature Playmates wearing the most technologically advanced swimsuits for an upcoming feature tied to the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The site will showcase Speedo’s official Olympic swimsuits over the past six games, dating back to 1988, on Playboy models for an August feature.

“Women’s Olympic swimmers are beautiful,” said vice president of content John Thomas. “Olympic swimmers are known for their bodies, and they look good in their suits.” Playboy has taken note of the Olympic athlete’s fine form in the past — swimming champ Amanda Beard posed nude in the magazine last July, and Playboy published an Olympic issue with athletes including U.S. pole-vaulter Mary Sauer and high-jumper Amy Acuff in September 2004.

This story first appeared in the July 16, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Craig Brommers, vice president of marketing for Speedo USA, said, “Interest in the LZR Racer has transcended traditional sports media and is receiving coverage in every media category out there, including fashion, business, science, celebrity and lifestyle.” That’s probably because this year’s suit, the Speedo Fastskin LZR Racer, touted by the company as the fastest swimsuit on the market, has created a stir in the wide world of sports over its technical advances. The suit, which used research from NASA, reduces the amount of drag while swimming, compresses the muscles to reduce fatigue and costs a whopping $550. Some have objected to the LZR for giving superhuman advantage to those wearing the suit — manufacturers and coaches urged FINA, the sport’s governing body, to reexamine the suits this spring, citing the outfits’ buoyancy levels. Since the suit launched in February, 48 out of 50 world records set thus far have been by swimmers wearing the LZR.

Each Playmate will wear the one-piece Speedo suits in the traditional manner (the pictorial will be a nonnude one), but at least one model who will sport the latest LZR will have to squeeze into hers — the suit typically takes 10 to 30 minutes to squeeze into.

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