This two-cap method isn’t new. Swim caps were made of rubberized fabric during the early 20th century. My favorite part of the olympics was when Ledecky the swimmer took off her swim cap to reveal another swim cap! Many swimmer will wear a swim cap to keep hair out of their faces when swimming in a race. The English "Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation" and the "Channel Swimming Association" state that "one standard swim cap" may be used for official English Channel record swims. "Standard swim caps" that have been used by English Channel swimmers of record over the years include solid rubber "tank" style swim caps, molded rubber swim caps with chin strap, bubble crepe rubber swi… The second reason is not as obvious. While watching the Rio Olympics, you may have noticed that when some swimmers like Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky finish a race and take their swim caps off, another cap is revealed underneath. The first reason might be the most obvious. 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Olympic swimmer: *takes off swim cap to reveal ANOTHER swim cap*me: *gasp*, When a swimmer takes off a swim cap to reveal another swim cap pic.twitter.com/Sjn8TxUKwS, I get fooled by that double bagged swim cap trick every time #Rio2016. The 1950s saw decorated caps come into vogue, and during the 1960s colorful flower petal swim caps became popular. Olympic swimmers are indeed wearing swim caps under their swim caps. By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, Share your feedback by emailing the author. About those spots on Michael Phelps’s body . "Double capping" is also used by participants of open water swimming to provide warmth. "Standard swim caps" that have been used by English Channel swimmers of record over the years include solid rubber "tank" style swim caps, molded rubber swim caps with chin strap, bubble crepe rubber swim caps with chin strap, silicone swim caps and latex "racing" swim caps. So, what’s going on? The straps, which go in between the inner and outer caps, help the goggles stay on. Latex caps stick to the head better, while the silicone variety can slip off, as it did off the head of U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer during the 100-meter butterfly final at the London Games. Why Do Swimmers Wear Two Caps? Twitter celebrates King with finger-wagging patriotism. The earliest chin strap caps were known as "aviator's style caps" as they resembled the strapped leather helmets of flyers of the day. The grip of the rubber from the two caps helps stop the goggles from slipping off. Swim caps worn for open water swims should be of visible colors that contrast with the water so that observers may safely monitor them, and operators of vessels may see them. The second reason is to reduce drag … Without swim cap requirements wearing swim caps fell out of fashion during the 1970s. Men's long hair styles of the late 1960s and early 1970s gave rise to increased use of swim caps. No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. “The outer silicone cap better maintains the shape and does not wrinkle as much [as the inner latex cap], thereby causing less drag,” former women’s Olympic assistant coach Dave Salo told Yahoo Sports during the 2012 Games in London. It can also be used to keep hair dry when swimming too. The first reason is that the two caps ensure your goggles will stay secure. According to Salo, “the outer silicone cap better maintains the shape and does not wrinkle as much, thereby causing less drag.” The inner cap is generally latex. Olympians Who've Made History Before Stepping Into Rio, The latest polls, breaking news and analysis on the U.S. election from HuffPost’s Washington, D.C. bureau. Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and more have been donning two caps for years. Have a question about our comment policies? The straps, which go in between the inner and outer caps, help the goggles stay on. The cap must be approved by the official observer who accompanies the swimmer on the pilot boat across the channel. There you have it, folks ― the Olympic double-cap secret. The permanent wave hairstyle took time to obtain and was expensive, so many women wanted to protect their hair while swimming. Considering Vollmer still won the gold — even with just the one cap — it’s clear that the performance-enhancing effects of two caps only go so far. During the 2012 Summer Games, Yahoo Sports’ Pauline Vu found out why swimmers wear double caps by interviewing former U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Assistant Coach Dave Salo. In order to make as smooth a surface as possible for maximum streamlining, sometimes an inner latex cap is put on, followed by swim goggles over the latex cap, and then second snug silicone swim cap is fitted over both. These Scary Movie Scenes Will Haunt You Forever, The Royal Family Might Have To Give Up These Christmas Traditions Because Of The Pandemic. This, of course, raises the question: Why don’t swimmers just wear silicone caps if the latex ones wrinkle? "Double capping"—wearing two swim caps—can provide a tighter swim cap seal. Two caps, including an inner latex cap and an outer silicone one, have a slight performance-enhancing effect. The cap must be approved by the official observer who accompanies the swimmer on the pilot boat across the channel. During the 2012 Summer Games, Yahoo Sports’ Pauline Vu found out why swimmers wear double caps by interviewing former U.S. Olympic Women’s Swimming Assistant Coach Dave Salo. Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and more have been donning two caps for years. . Caps are worn for various reasons. The first reason is that the two caps ensure your goggles will stay secure. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Copyright © 2020 HuffPost.com, Inc. "HuffPost" is a registered trademark of HuffPost.com, Inc. All rights reserved. The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning. Many swimmers have trouble finding a swim cap that keeps their hair dry. Swim caps are sometimes worn in an attempt to keep hair relatively dry or protect from chlorinated water, to keep the sun off the hair, and when a cap is worn with earplugs, to keep water out of the ears.