See These Olympic Gymnasts' New Uniform, a Protest Against Sexualization
The new uniform is unlike any to ever be worn by women's Olympic gymnasts.
Of course, the Olympics have come a long way since they began back in 1896. As times change, the Games need to change with it, but that's not always the case. Recently, one Olympic women's gymnastics team took matters into their own hands, sporting uniforms that they felt more comfortable in as a protest against the sexualization women and girls in the sport often face. To see the groundbreaking Olympic gymnastics uniform one team will be wearing at the Games this year, read on.
The German Olympic gymnastics team will be wearing unitards instead of leotards.
The BBC reports that in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF, German gymnast Voss explained that as she got older, she felt increasingly more uncomfortable in the standard leotard. "We women all want to feel good in our skin. In the sport of gymnastics, it gets harder and harder as you grow out of your child's body," said Voss. "As a little girl, I didn't see the tight gym outfits as such a big deal. But when puberty began, when my period came, I began feeling increasingly uncomfortable."
Voss told BBC: "We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example."
Other members of the team have been sharing photos of the new uniform, with Bui posting a photo of the gymnasts in their "beautiful unitards" on July 22.
Team USA gymnasts like Simone Biles have supported the new look.
Team USA will be wearing the standard leotards this year, but they've supported other athletes' decision to wear unitards.
"Personally, I feel comfortable in a leo, and that's more my style," Biles told Team USA in June. "I feel like [a bodysuit] might shorten me, but I stand with their decision to wear whatever they please and whatever makes them feel comfortable. So if anyone out there wants to wear a unitard or leotard, it's totally up to you."
Her teammate Sunisa Lee also thinks the unitards are "a really good idea." "I think those are really cool. I like it a lot because people should be able to wear what they feel comfortable in, and it shouldn't be a leotard if you don't want to wear it," she told Team USA.
Kara Eaker, an alternate for Team USA at Tokyo 2020, who had to return home after contracting coronavirus, praised the unitard too. "It's different, it stands out, and it's a power move," she said. "I haven't really trained in one before, so I wouldn't know how that would affect my training and gymnastics ability, but I'd be open to trying anything."
Revealing uniforms for women athletes have become a controversial topic recently.
Gymnasts' uniforms aren't the only source of controversy for professional women athletes as of late. The Norwegian women's handball team was just fined for refusing to wear bikini bottoms, which are mandated by the European Handball Federation, after the team shared a photo in their groundbreaking shorts. Conversely, two-time Paralympic Olivia Breen, who competes in track events, was told by an official at the English Championships that her shorts were "too short" and "inappropriate."