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Tokyo Games: German Gymnasts Make Strong Statement Against Sexualisation in Sports

German gymnasts wore a full-body outfit at the Tokyo Olympics. (Sarah Voss Instagram Photo)

German gymnasts wore a full-body outfit at the Tokyo Olympics. (Sarah Voss Instagram Photo)

During their qualification round in the 2020 Tokyo Games, the German Gymnasts wore a full-body suit in a move they said was designed to promote women athletes to wear whatever they want and feel comfortable in.

In the last few years, a lot has been said and discussed about women’s sporting uniforms. The much talked about controversy of women’s uniforms had created a huge uproar in 2018 after the American darling Serena Williams wore a catsuit in the 2018 French Open. However, much to the disappointment of the fans, the French Tennis Federation (FTT) banned the catsuit at Rolland Garros following the incident. The French organizers were heavily criticized for their decision after the ban on catsuits was announced.

Recently, Norway’s beach handball team made headlines in the international media after they refused to wear bikini bottoms.

Now, in a new development, Germany’s Olympic Gymnastics Team has made a strong statement about sexualisation in sports by wearing a full-body unitard outfit rather than the usual bikini-cut leotard outfits.

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During their qualification round in the 2020 Tokyo Games, the German Gymnasts wore a full-body suit in a move they said was designed to promote women athletes to wear whatever they want and feel comfortable in.

Germany’s gymnast team is composed of some world-class athletes in Sarah Voss, Elisabeth Seitz, Pauline Schaefer-Betz and Kim Bui.

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A post shared by Sarah Voss (@sarah.vossi)

The full-body suit was first worn at the European Championship in April and at that time the German Gymnastics Federation had branded their step a statement against “sexualisation in gymnastics".

Speaking about their decision to drop bikini-cut leotard from their dress code, Voss in an interview had told ZDF that “We women all want to feel good in our skin.”

She further explained that it gets even more difficult in gymnastics “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," she added.

Meanwhile, Seitz said that they decided as a group to don the full-length dress. However, Seitz also stressed as unitard was their choice, everyone gymnasts should be free to wear whatever they want.

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first published:July 28, 2021, 19:59 IST