Swimwear brand Speedo is to clothe athletes in the Winter Olympics for the first time in Torino next year.

The world's leading swimwear brand today unveiled the Fastskin FSII Ice speed suit, which will be worn by US sledding hopefuls at the Games in Italy in February.

Olympic Gold Medalist bobsledder Vonetta Flowers said: "The difference between gold and silver at the Olympics will be hundredths of a second. I'm excited to be working with a brand that has not only been at the forefront of speed for more than 75 years, but has been very engaged with our specific needs during the suit development for Torino."

The launch builds on the Fastskin brand, which was originally developed for swimmers.

Speedo said the Fastskin fabric was scientifically based on sharkskin and has been modified for the Fastskin FSII Ice so as to reduce drag based on the airflow direction unique to the three sledding sports.

"Speedo's dominance in the water is built around a research and development process that engages the world's best swimmers," said Sheree Waterson, president, Speedo North America. "By extending this approach to sledding athletes, we applied what Speedo has learned through years of continuous innovation in the pool to the ice -- opening up unprecedented opportunities for speed."