South Korea Unveils Zika-Proof Olympic Uniforms


The Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are on track to be a huge disaster, but the South Korean team will show up in Brazil prepared for at least one of the issues plaguing the games. To protect its athletes against the dreaded Zika virus, South Korea’s newly unveiled long-sleeve, long-pants Olympic uniforms will come with built-in mosquito-repellent chemicals.

Because of Olympic rules, the South Korean athletes won’t wear the full uniforms during actual competition, but they’ll wear them pretty much the rest of the time—to train, during ceremonies, and in the Olympic village. Athletes will wear traditional mosquito spray when they’re not in the mosquito-repellent uniforms.

When the Games roll around in August, it will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so the mosquito population will be lower, but the Zika virus, which causes serious birth defects, is a global health concern, and is one of the many issues the Olympics are facing.

There’s no word on whether the South Korean uniforms will also protect athletes from Brazil’s other crises—political instability caused by the looming impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, a huge oil-industry corruption scandal (with direct ties to the Olympic venues), and the country’s worst recession in 80 years.