U.S. Olympic champion and decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton, debuted his new 3D printed NIKE Ice Hat.

Eaton will don the ice cap between each of the 10 decathlon events to speed up recovery time can have a significant impact on the athlete’s overall performance.

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Nike has ‘secret labs’ where the majority of these innovations and manufacturing technologies converge, specifically the “Innovation Kitchen” and the “Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL)” – both of which are behind locked doors at the company’s Beaverton, Oregon World Headquarters. “A perfect scenario would be to feel like you’ve just started on every event. The more you do, the more attrition you experience. Rather than realizing immediate physiological gain, the challenge is more about reducing the mental attrition from the two days to maximize each event,” explains Eaton. “After asking questions about current recovery techniques, the conversation prompted me to ask myself: Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head? I don’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better. ” h/t 3ders photo tmz

With the goal of creating as much of a ‘perfect scenario’ as possible for Eaton, the Nike team expanded upon a concept that they originally created for cooling an athlete’s core – the PreCool Vest – to create a device that could cool Eaton’s head and face during a live competition.

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