Arena was created by sports visionary Horst Dassler, son of the founder and president of Adidas France. During the 1972 Summer Olympics, Dassler was present at the pool when Mark Spitz won his historic 7 medals. Dassler, along with the rest of the world, was amazed because not only was Spitz the first athlete to win 7 gold medals in an Olympic Games, but he also set 7 new world records at the same time. Dassler immediately started making plans to create a company dedicated to water sports and created the new swim brand known today as Arena.
In 1973, just one year after the Games, Arena launched its first line of swimwear with the introduction of Skinfit®. The new ultra-light material weighed only 180 grams and was designed to cling to the swimmer's body like a second skin.
Dassler knew that sports sponsorship was the key to the success of the brand, so in preparation for the following Olympic Games, Arena started signing other individual athletes, who could give feedback about the design and development of new products, while at the same time, generate excitement for water sports. By 1976, athletes and Arena products were ready for the Montreal Olympics. Among the members of the original Arena Elite Team were world champions such as Mark Spitz (USA), Novella Calligaris (ITA), Steve Furniss (USA), David Wilke (UK), Shirley Babashoff (USA), Gary Hall (USA), Klaus Dibiasi (ITA), Ulrika Knape (SWE) and Maxine "Miki" King (USA). The hard work that both the athletes and Arena put into preparing for the Montreal Olympics paid off and the Arena Elite Team won an astonishing total of 44 Olympic medals. Two years later, at the World Championships in West Berlin, athletes using Arena products won a total of 62 medals, almost 75% of the total medal count and broke 9 world records. Members of the original team set a total of 83 world records.
At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, the newest member of the Arena Elite Team Matt Biondi became the second swimmer to win 7 medals in an Olympic Games. Almost equalling Spitz' medals record, 5 of Biondi's 7 medals were gold and 4 of them were won with world record times.
By the early 90s, Arena was ready to launch another significant technological advance: AquaRacer, which was designed to make swimmers glide through the water thanks to its extra soft finish and its exceptional fit with maximum freedom of movement. In 1997, the Arena Design and Development team did it again, leaving everyone speechless with the release of X-Flat, a material that was even thinner, softer and lighter than AquaRacer. With a 25% lower weight than any other material used for competition products, X-Flat was just a preview of what was to come in the year 2000. At the same time, the Arena Elite Team continued to recruit new swimming talents that were going to historical world champions. Among its members were talents such as Alexander Popov and Franziska van Almsick, two of the dominant swimmers of the world panorama of the 90s.
Arena's push to go beyond any established limit provided the world with two important technological advances: Powerskin (2000) and Powerskin X-Treme (2004). The Powerskin technology became the flagship of the new generation of full-body elite swimsuits, as the new suits covered the athlete's body almost completely.
Arena's philosophy is based on the fact that all athletes are driven to win, to stand on a podium or to achieve their personal best, the final goal is always a victory. The Arena brand has that same impulse. Since the time Arena founder Horst Dassler began his venture, Arena has focused on winning. Its goal is to strengthen and promote water sports, through a continuous pursuit of teams with athletes that inspire, providing products that match and exceed their expectations. And with more than 30 years of experience, they have established a cadence between athletes and their products.
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