Olympic Swimmers know time is not their friend! So, they opt for Speedos instead of the usual swimming trunks and shave off their bodies. This minimalistic approach is meant to reduce the drag force.
To ensure that nothing weighs them down, and to prevent the loss of the precious milliseconds that could make or break the game, they go for the truly minimalistic approach and shed off all that unnecessary weight.
The only exception to this rule is their preference for two caps! Now, why would the Olympic swimmers wear two caps when they try so hard to keep themselves light.
Well, it appears that each cap serves a different purpose. The inner latex cap gives a snug fit. However, it can wrinkle on exposure to water and thus, can add to the drag. To avoid wrinkling of the latex cap, the swimmers top it off with a silicone cap that acts as an outer protective cover. The combined use of both latex and silicone caps also firmly secures the goggle straps.
So why don’t they wear the silicone caps directly without putting on the latex one underneath? The answer is that silicone is prone to slipping off the head if it is directly fitted on the scalp.
The two swimming caps can also lead to some unexpected show like when the Chinese swimmer Su Yang tried to celebrate his Gold medal win during the Rio Olympics by tossing his cap into the crowd. Let’s just say that things didn’t go as planned. You can watch the hilariously embarrassing video here: