Wearing sunglasses or ski goggles is nothing new to skiers. For decades eyewear has been part of the package for beginners and experts alike. Around here in Colorado, you can always tell when someone has been spring skiing because of the raccoon eyes caused by getting a bit of sun while still wearing eye protection.
As we watch the Olympics we are struck at how ice skaters and hockey players almost never wear sunglasses while speed skaters do. Most competitive ice sports occur indoors instead of outdoors, so the need for protection from the sun isn’t there. Consider this, however. On your way to work today, stick your head out the window doing about 35 MPH. If you avoid the dust picked up from the cars in front of you and the stares of the cars next to you, you might very well find your eyes tearing up from the wind.
Speed skaters wear sunglasses and protective eyewear to keep from tearing up due to the speed they are skating as well as that occasional ice chip that might be kicked up turning those corners. Then there is the glare of the TV lights as millions tune in to watch these incredible athletes. So yes, there is a cool factor to wearing cool sunglasses (especially when it is cool out) but there is more than looking cool for speed skaters.