2012 U.S. Olympic Team Cycling Skinsuit

2012 U.S. Olympic Team Cycling Skinsuit

Usage conditions apply
This long sleeve one-piece track cycling skinsuit was worn by American Bobby Lea (b. 1983) when he competed in the Omnium event during the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. Lea, a national champion in the Omnium and numerous other track cycling events, also competed in the Madison at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and finished 1st in the Scratch Race at the 2012 Pan American Championships
The jersey and shorts worn by U.S. cyclists at the 2012 Olympics were intended to evoke the designs from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where American riders Alexi Grewal and Connie Carpenter both won gold medals in the men’s and women’s cycling road race. The one piece long sleeve skinsuit worn by Lea at the 2012 London Olympics is more aerodynamic than a short sleeve jersey and shorts, but the additional fabric coverage tends to make the wearer overheat. It is best used for either shorter events or instances where the aerodynamic advantages outweigh the drawbacks.
The event that Lea raced at the 2012 Olympics, called the Omnium, is a cycling event raced on an oval cycling track, also called a velodrome, and was introduced to the Olympics after the Individual Pursuit, Points Race, and Madison were removed as individual Olympic track cycling events in 2009. The Omnium is similar to the Pentathlon in that winning overall relies upon placing well in the combination of six mass-start and individual time trial races that comprise the modern format of the event.
The six races that comprise the modern Ominum race are:
1. Flying Lap (Single lap raced against the clock)
2. Points Race (30km men, 20km women, 15km junior men, 10km junior women)
3. Elimination Race
4. Individual Pursuit (4000m men, 3000m junior men and women, 2000m junior women)
5. Scratch Race
6. Time Trial (1km men, 500m women)
The Omnium event at the 2012 Olympics was held at the 250 meter London Velopark on August 4th and 5th. The event was won by Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark. Lea finished in 12th place overall.
Currently not on view
Object Name
cycling skinsuit, summer olympics
cycling skinsuit
used date
2012-08-04 to 2012-08-05
Lea, Bobby
referenced; used
United Kingdom: England, London
Physical Description
synthetic elastic fabric (overall material)
white (overall color)
red (overall color)
blue (overall color)
plastic (zipper material)
overall: 30 in x 17 1/4 in; 76.2 cm x 43.815 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Olympic Summer Games: London, 2012
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Sport and Leisure
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object