The German girls’s gymnastics crew took the ground for his or her first competitors on the Tokyo Olympics carrying unitards with leggings that stretched right down to the ankle
TOKYO — The crew’s outfits appeared just like the others within the room as the sector lights gleamed off crystals crisscrossing their chests and down their crimson and white sleeves.
However the German gymnastics crew’s new Olympic fits didn’t cease at their hips.
For many years, feminine gymnasts have worn bikini-cut leotards. In qualifying on Sunday, nonetheless, the German crew as a substitute wore unitards that stretched to their ankles, aspiring to push again towards sexualization of ladies in gymnastics.
Male gymnasts put on comparatively body-covering garments: singlets, with unfastened shorts for his or her ground train and vault, and lengthy pants on bar and pommel horse routines.
The German crew first wore unitards on the European Creative Gymnastics Championships in April.
Sarah Voss, a 21-year-old German, stated they weren’t certain they might determine to put on them once more throughout Olympic competitors till they bought collectively earlier than the meet.
“We sat collectively at this time and stated, OK, we wish to have an enormous competitors,” Voss stated. “We wish to really feel wonderful, we wish to present everybody that we glance wonderful.”
Their wardrobe revolution, whereas extensively championed, has not up to now began a development. Leotards that go away the legs naked had been worn by each different feminine gymnast throughout qualifying on the Tokyo Video games.
At 4-foot-8, American celebrity Simone Biles stated in June that she prefers leotards as a result of they lengthen the leg and make her seem taller.
“However I stand with their choice to put on no matter they please and no matter makes them really feel snug,” Biles stated. “So if anybody on the market desires to put on a unitard or leotard, it’s completely as much as you.”
Matt Cowan, the chief business officer for GK Elite, the U.S.’ premier leotard producer, stated most requests for unitards now come from nations the require modesty for cultural and spiritual causes. They’ve in any other case seen no rush towards catsuits.
“Would we do it? Completely. We now have the capabilities of designing it and doing it, and now we have accomplished it,” Cowan stated. “However from a shopper demand perspective, we aren’t there but.”
Gymnastics is usually seen as a sport greatest carried out by very younger girls and ladies. Biles, at 24, typically jokes about being outdated; she just lately known as herself a grandma on social media.
However different nations have defied that emphasis on youth, together with the Germans: Elisabeth Seitz is 27, Kim Bui is 32, Pauline Schafer is 24, and Voss is 21. Their common age of 26. Voss stated that gymnastics customs ought to go away room for feminine our bodies as they age and alter.
Their outfits adjust to the wardrobe guidelines of the Worldwide Gymnastics Federation. However that doesn’t imply feminine athletes are typically free to cowl their our bodies as they select.
Simply days earlier than the Video games started, the Norwegian girls’s seaside volleyball crew refused to play in bikini bottoms throughout European tournaments, opting as a substitute for skin-tight shorts. For that, they obtained a nice for violating a wardrobe requirement.
However at gymnastics qualifying Sunday, the announcer over the loudspeaker known as the outfits “very good certainly.” The German crew didn’t qualify for finals, however the announcer contemplated if their crew debut on the Olympic stage may improve unitards’ recognition.
AP Sports activities Author Will Graves contributed to this report.
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