Above Photo: pauline_schaefer / Instagram.
Germany’s women’s Olympic gymnastic team will wear unitards at the Tokyo 2020 games in protest against the “sexualisation” of the sport.
The team will wear full-body outfits that cover their legs from hip to ankle. This is an obvious difference from the traditional leotard which usually leaves the entire leg and hip exposed on the female gymnasts. The unitard, although breaking from conventions, doesn’t defy the rules of the competition.
The team – which consists of Elisabeth Seitz, Kim Bui, Pauline Schaefer and Sarah Voss – debuted their new outfits earlier this week during a practice session.
On Instagram Schaefer wrote: “Our podium training went really well. We were able to call up our performance and already 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?”
It was confirmed back in April that the German Gymnastics Federation would be taking this stance against “sexualisation in gymnastics” with Voss saying at the time: “We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example.
“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.”
This comes after Norway’s women’s handball team was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms at the European Beach Handball tournament.