Enthusiasts are applied to looking at gymnasts donning bold, colourful outfits protected in sparkly gems. But Team Germany built a assertion with their outfits at the Tokyo Olympic Video games on Sunday — entirely covering their arms and legs with complete-human body unitards. 

The workforce claims that the outfits are a protest from the “sexualization” of the activity.  

The seems were being a stark departure from the sport’s normal bikini-reduce leotards. They are considerably a lot more very similar to the body-masking outfits worn by male gymnasts through their routines. 

The German workforce debuted its new “very long satisfies” at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in April. At the time, the German Gymnastics Federation claimed that they ended up a assertion “towards sexualization in gymnastics.” 

“The aim is to current aesthetically — with out feeling awkward,” it mentioned. 

“We sat with each other nowadays and explained, ‘Okay, we want to have a huge level of competition,'” 21-yr-old Sarah Voss of Germany instructed reporters on Sunday, talking about the past-minute choice to wear unitards at the Online games. “We want to experience awesome, we want to demonstrate anyone that we glimpse incredible.”

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Germany’s Pauline Schaefer-Betz competes in the creative gymnastics equilibrium beam party of the women’s qualification for the duration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 25, 2021.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP by using Getty Visuals


The final decision arrives at the 1st Online games given that former United states of america Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar was sentenced to in excess of 100 many years in jail for sexually abusing additional than 265 girls and young women of all ages, such as Workforce United states superstars Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas, who have spoken publicly about the abuse. The investigation is ongoing and a recent report discovered the FBI unsuccessful to adequately look into allegations in opposition to Nassar prolonged just before his first victims arrived forward. 

“We women of all ages all want to truly feel great in our pores and skin. In the sport of gymnastics it will get harder and more durable as you grow out of your kid’s entire body,” Voss reported in April of the determination. “As a minimal lady, I didn’t see the limited gym outfits as such a massive offer. But when puberty began, when my period came, I started experience significantly uncomfortable.” 

Other gymnasts have also opted for bodysuits in new years. Marina Nekrasova of Azerbaijan wore a person at a Globe Cup celebration in 2019 and Jana Elkeky of Qatar wore a bodysuit that coated her higher legs at the 2018 World Championships in Doha. 

“Probably someone is stopped by the leotards, and I required to demonstrate that it really is doable, there are no boundaries,” stated Nekrasova, who competes for a nation wherever leotards are not usually acknowledged as suitable. “I often listen to that moms and dads get the girls out of gymnastics lessons since of the leotards and it is really a pity that they go away. You can change the uniform, so you can educate and try out. I hope I managed to present that.”

In June, Biles stated that she prefers regular leotards for the reason that they make her surface taller than her 4-foot-8 top. But she supported the decision to put on unitards, often favored for cultural or religious modesty. 

“I stand with their choice to dress in no matter what they you should and whichever makes them experience comfy,” Biles said. “So if everyone out there would like to use a unitard or leotard, it truly is fully up to you.” 

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Elizabeth Seitz of Germany competing on Women’s Qualification – Subdivision 5 in the course of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Iris van den Broek/BSR Agency/Getty Visuals


“It can be a truly superior plan,” echoed Workforce USA’s Sunisa Lee, who competes together with Biles. “I consider those are definitely cool. I like it a large amount due to the fact individuals must be equipped to wear what they really feel snug in, and it shouldn’t be a leotard if you do not want to use it.”

Even though the gymnasts’ outfits comply with the regulations of the Worldwide Gymnastics Federation, other groups have faced opposition to makes an attempt to wear extra modest competitive clothing. Forward of the Video games previous 7 days, the Norwegian women’s beach front handball workforce was fined for violating a wardrobe necessity when they opted for shorts fairly than bikini bottoms. 

“It really is fully absurd,” Norway’s Minister for Culture and Sports activities Abid Raja tweeted after the ruling. “What a transform of mindset is wanted in the macho and conservative worldwide earth of activity.”