Olympics: Cool Runners

As Athens simmers, the big three sprint to keep Olympians comfortable

Natives roam the streets with water sprayers in their pockets so that they can douse their faces with mist. Heat mirages blur tourists' views of the Acropolis. Grandmothers fan while watching the evening news. "Kafsonas [Burning up]!" they say. Welcome to Athens in August, where temperatures top 100F and humidity reaches 90%. Given the sweltering outlook, it's no surprise that one of the hottest Olympic races is already taking place off the track. The world's three major sportswear manufacturers--Adidas, Nike and Reebok--have developed new technologies, from ice vests to metal tape to ventilated shoes, to keep athletes cool in the ancient...

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