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Philly U. Professor's Idea Brings Innovation To Olympics

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The US Olympic Rowing Team will be wearing state-of-the-art unisuits in Rio that were invented by a professor from Philadelphia University.

Rowing Suit 1
Mark Sunderland looks on as Philly born Chierika Ukogo tries on the unisuit. will be the first rower ever to represent Nigeria in the Olympics. (Credit: Philadelphia University)

The suits are nearly seamless and two-thirds the weight of traditional suits. They are made from a special skin-like material developed by textile engineer Mark Sunderland.

"The suit is also made with double layer construction in the bottom so no undergarments have to be worn," he tells KYW Newsradio.

There's also an anti-microbial finish to help protect athletes from contaminants in the water.

"I applied what was already out there, existing anti-microbial technology," Sunderland explains. "What's different about it is that I added it to a very innovative piece of apparel under very unique conditions."

Philadelphia based apparel company Boathouse Sports is making the unisuits.

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