U.S. Olympic Speedskater Allison Baver: What I Wear to Work

The U.S. Olympic athlete on her custom speedskating equipment, sportswear business, and more

Allison Baver
33, four-time Olympic speedskater

Tell me about your suit.
The outside is made of [an aerodynamic] material they test in a wind tunnel. Between the legs there’s a bit of material that reflects light, and when you rub your thighs across each other, there’s no friction. It has kneepads, so in case we fall we don’t break our knees, and it’s cut-proof where our major arteries are.

Do you wear any special underwear?
Just a Champion sports bra. It’s comfortable.

What’s your day?
I wake up, warm up, skate for two hours, cool down, rehab my leg—I’ve been getting daily rehab since I broke it in 2009—and grab lunch. Then I go right back to the gym, and afterward I work on my business.

What business?
I’m developing a line of activewear, IICE by Allison Baver. It’s feminine and stylish. I’m a little more girly when it comes to the gym.

What’s your background?
I got my MBA in marketing online. I was traveling on the World Cup circuit and didn’t know when I’d be done skating. I read that for certain people online education is a great choice. I was also a contestant on The Apprentice.

How do your gloves work?
They’re custom-made by a guy who makes knives. They have silver tips on them that are metal so my hands don’t get cut when we touch the ice.

Are your skates similar to ones I’d use?
No. The boot is custom-made in Korea. They’re about $2,000 and made out of carbon fiber. I don’t wear socks—they’re meant to feel like your foot. And they’re pink.

I love the pink.
I had to push the manufacturer to do it, because skating is a little conservative. I was like, “I’m a girl. I don’t want black!”

How many pairs do you have?
One. When I travel I keep my skates with me at all times. If I lose them, I can’t replace them.

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