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26th Jul 2021

German gymnasts wear full-body unitards in stand against sexualisation

Women are class.

German gymnasts in this year’s Olympics are taking a much needed stand against sexualisation with full body unitards

Looking similar to the others in the arena with crystals and colourful patterns, the German ladies made a stand by opting for something a little different.

Female gymnasts have always traditionally worn bikini cut leotards, but for the first time in recent history, the women’s team wore unitards that reached their ankles, completely covering them up.

Aiming to stand up to sexualisation, the leotards also reached their wrists, which isn’t unusual for these costumes.

This comes after former USA Gymnastics national team doctor was sentenced to 176 years in prison for abusing gymnasts, many of his victims saying that the sport’s culture allowed for objectification of women and girls.

For the men’s section, they wear singlets, with loose shorts for their floor exercise and vault, and long pants on bar and pommel horse routines.

Sarah Voss, a 21 year old gymnast, said that they hadn’t fully committed to the idea to wear them at the Olympics until they got together beforehand.

“We sat together today and said, OK, we want to have a big competition,” she said. “We want to feel amazing, we want to show everyone that we look amazing.”

While it hasn’t caught on with other teams yet, US gymnast Simone Biles has given her support for the movement, despite opting for the shorter style herself.

“I stand with their decision to wear whatever they please and whatever makes them feel comfortable,” Biles said. “So if anyone out there wants to wear a unitard or leotard, it’s totally up to you.”

While their outfits comply with the rules of the Internation Gymnastics Federation, other women’s teams aiming to send the same message didn’t have the same luck.

The Norwegian women’s volleyball team chose to swap the usual uniform for shorts at a recent Handball Championship in Varna, Bulgaria, days prior to the Tokyo games. They were later fined for breaking the rules.