Germany debuts full-length unitards at Olympics in stand against 'sexualization in gymnastics'
One women's gymnastics team won't be dressed like the others at the Olympics.
The German Olympic team revealed their uniforms for the Tokyo Games at a practice session on Thursday. The noticeable difference from the typical gymnastics garments seen on the international stage: Their legs were covered.
Rather than wear leg-revealing leotards, Germany opted to go with sleeveless unitards, as Instagram posts from the team's members show:
A translation of Pauline Schaefer's caption:
Our podium training went really well. We were able to call up our performance and introduce ourselves to the judges.
Fine-tuning will be done again until Sunday and then it will finally start.
How do you like our new outfit?
Germany debuted its unitards at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in April, per the BBC, with two teammates joining Sarah Vossi after the 21-year-old made the switch.
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The German gymnastics federation told the BBC its gymnasts were taking a stand against the "sexualization in gymnastics," especially in the wake of the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the industry.
Vossi said she hopes to set an example for younger gymnasts, who compete in a sport where many of the elite competitors are under 18:
"We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example," said Voss.
"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. 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."
The amount of skin showed by a female athlete's uniform has become a suddenly hot topic this week, as the Norwegian women's handball team made headlines by refusing to wear the bikini bottoms mandated by the European Handball Federation. Conversely, a Paralympic athlete called out an official at the English championships for complaining that her shorts were too revealing.
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