Leading swimwear brand Speedo has won a string of individual endorsement deals with American 2006 Winter Olympic sledding hopefuls.

The deals, Speedo's first-ever winter sport sponsorships, allow it to sponsor Vonetta Flowers, Todd Hays, Noelle Pikus-Pace, Jean Prahm (formerly Racine), and Chris Soule.

The signings precede the unveiling of evolutionary suit technology that will make its Olympic debut during the 2006 Winter Games in Torino, Italy, next February.

Speedo North America president Sheree Waterson said: "Speedo's dominance in the pool is built around a research and development process that engages the world's best swimmers.

"This approach now extends to sledding athletes, opening up unprecedented opportunities for speed."

1928-established Speedo's lines include women's fashion and fitness swimwear, men's water shorts, kid's swimwear, active wear, footwear, and a comprehensive collection of aquatic and fitness equipment.