German Gymnasts Wear Full-Body Unitards at Tokyo Olympics to Feel More 'Confident and Comfortable'
Germany's female gymnasts just took a stand against sexualization of the sport by wearing unitards instead of traditional bikini-cut leotards at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
During a team qualifying round on Sunday, the athletes competed in uniforms that featured a white and blue crystal-embellished bodice and maroon ankle-length leggings.
"We wanted to show that every woman, everybody, should decide what to wear," German gymnast Elisabeth Seitz said on Friday, according to the Washington Post.
Her teammate, Sarah Voss, explained, "We girls had a big influence on this. The coaches were also very much into it. They said they want us to feel the most confident and comfortable in any case. It just makes you feel better and more comfortable."
The decision comes after some members of German women's gymnastics team opted to wear similar full-body suits during the European Gymnastics Championships in Basel, Switzerland back in April.
Per reports, the German Gymnastics Association (DTB) said the outfit change — which Voss started, followed by her teammates Seitz and Kim Bui — was done to take a stand against sexualization in the sport.
"We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example," Voss told the BBC at the time.
According to BBC, Bui initially performed in a leotard for the qualifying round. But after seeing Voss debut a full-body suit, both Bui and Seitz swapped outfits for the women's all-around final two days later.
The differences between men's and women's athletic uniforms has become a hot topic lately, most recently in the case of the Norwegian handball team fined for playing in shorts rather than regulation bikini bottoms. The punishment attracted international attention, with singer Pink even offering to cover the fine.