THEY are among the many world’s elite feminine athletes – with our bodies to match.

But the query of how a lot of those well-honed physiques must be on present has develop into the topic of an unsightly row on the Tokyo Olympics.

Swiss volleyball star Nina Betschart in skimpy pants


Swiss volleyball star Nina Betschart in skimpy pantsCredit: GettyWelsh Paralympian Olivia Breen in kit branded 'too revealing'


Welsh Paralympian Olivia Breen in package branded ‘too revealing’Credit: Gary Mitchell

A choice by a European sporting physique to insist feminine athletes put on skimpy sportswear led to accusations of sexism – sparking a bust-up that has even dragged in pop star Pink.

The Norwegian beach handball team blasted organisers at a pre-Olympics occasion who fined them for refusing to put on necessary bikini bottoms.

Pink insisted she would pay the £1,300 fine and tweeted: “I’m pleased with the Norwegian workforce for protesting the very sexist guidelines.”

And on the Tokyo Games on Sunday, the German gymnastics workforce wore body-covering “unitards” in protest on the “sexualisation” of sport.

So is elite ladies’s sportswear too skimpy?

Here, javelin legend Fatima Whitbread says the issue is sport’s obsession with creating “trend” for followers whereas bronze medal-winning gymnast Amy Tinkler says it’s nothing to do with being horny – simply safe.

🥇 TOKYO OLYMPICS LIVE: All the latest from the Games with our live blog

🥇 WHAT’S ON TODAY? Best bits to watch at the Olympics and UK times for your favourite stars

Gymnasts may get critically injured in loose-fitting leotards, says Amy Tinkler

TIGHT leotards in gymnastics aren’t enforced as a result of they need us to look horny — it’s to keep us safe as we compete on the highest degree.

Moves on the ground, vault and beam require precision, and if we wore loose-fitting T-shirts and jogging bottoms we may critically injure ourselves.

Amy Tinkler is a Team GB 2016 Olympic floor exercise bronze medallist


Amy Tinkler is a Team GB 2016 Olympic ground train bronze medallistCredit: PA

I can’t say I’ve by no means felt self-conscious in my gear however it’s significantly better than struggling a life-changing fall.

Tight package permits our coaches to assist us once we study new strikes and never threat breaking a finger or fracturing one thing as they assist us. Any high-level sport could be harmful, so we’ve to minimise the dangers.

Even although I’ve retired as a creative gymnast, I’d nonetheless put on the identical leotards I competed in as a result of I felt as comfy as I used to be going to.

Form-fitting outfits are a key approach for judges to have the ability to rating us correctly. They want to verify we’ve clear traces as we stock out our routines.

Gymnasts lose factors in the event that they don’t have an ideal method — when doing a handstand on the beam judges must see that knees aren’t bent.

In the ground routines we’ve to be accurately tucked for our tumble, and once we do split-leaps our legs must be horizontal at 180 levels. If you gown in a loose-fitting outfit these minute particulars can’t be seen.


It’s nice to see extra choices for Olympic gymnastics, I’m in awe of the German workforce who wore full-body fits. Dressing proper is hectic.

You had to verify you have been shaved “down there” and solely put on particular bras that wouldn’t present throughout competitions — however they weren’t essentially the most supportive.

The most irritating factor about conventional leotards is you aren’t allowed to regulate them throughout competitions as a result of you’ll lose factors. So we glued them down to verify our total bottoms weren’t on present.

While we couldn’t choose and select our outfits, we did get some say over the sample design.

If it’s safe and means we could be judged accurately, I’m all for folks having extra management over what they put on.

  • Amy Tinkler is a Team GB 2016 Olympic ground train bronze medallist.

Some contestants will probably be feeling uncovered, says Fatima Whitbread

THE final thing you want when lining up alongside world file holders and ­Olympic champions is to really feel uncomfortable in your package as a result of it’s too tight or too small.

And watching this 12 months’s crop of unbelievable athletes, I can’t assist however suppose how uncomfortable the outfits look and the way a few of the contestants will probably be feeling very self- aware being so uncovered.

Fatima Whitbread won Olympic bronze and silver medals in the javelin in the 1980s


Fatima Whitbread gained Olympic bronze and silver medals within the javelin within the Nineteen EightiesCredit: Planet Photos

So the Norwegian seashore handball workforce being fined 1,500 euros for refusing to put on bikini bottoms throughout a pre-Olympic contest, as a result of they felt uncomfortable in them, was completely ridiculous.

It must be their alternative what they put on. If you’re stepping on to the world stage and really feel uncomfortable in your outfit, it will detract out of your efficiency.

Well carried out to these women for making the choice to really feel comfy in what they wore to compete.

We all love trend — and that’s what these skimpy outfits are — however its place is on the High Street, not within the Olympic Games. It is usually the producers — as their sponsors — who resolve what every workforce will probably be sporting, and the sportsmen and girls have little to no say.


For producers, it’s not about how the package feels or how helpful it’s for the game, it’s about the way it seems. They’re designing for the spectators relatively than the ­athletes.

There’s been an enormous change in how workforce kits look since I competed within the Nineteen Eighties. Back then all of the clothes was saggy, which I most well-liked — even the knicker-shorts gave the impression to be a bit larger.

Our unbelievable women and men must be given a alternative in what they put on earlier than heading out into the stadiums to symbolize their nation.

It’s a thoughts recreation as a lot as a bodily one, and there can’t be ­something worse than lining up on the monitor and fiddling together with your package as a result of it feels too exposing.

It can be an enormous distraction for the time being when you must be getting “into the zone” mentally to compete.

It have to be terrible to be working and really feel like your shorts are falling down, and I guess a few of the athletes do really feel like that.

I’ve been shocked this 12 months to see the divers sporting minuscule swimming trunks for his or her competitions.

It is a little bit of a dangerous transfer as a lot of them are seen holding on to their trunks as soon as they’ve entered the water as a result of it clearly pulls down their swimwear.

They’re frantically grabbing for them as they begin to resurface to keep away from any potential embarrassment.

If divers like Tom Daley and Matty Lee are comfy in these sorts of shorts — and so they do look ­unbelievable mid-air — then good on them. But if they aren’t, I hope they can say no.

Our athletes don’t want any additional window dressing for his or her second within the highlight. Many of our ladies look attractive anyway, no matter what they put on. But they need to be given choices as to what they need to gown in.

Feeling comfy makes an enormous distinction to how you carry out and if which means saggy clothes, then let ­athletes put on it.

I’d take one thing that aids my efficiency over wanting ­modern any day, and I guess most of Team GB would too.

  • Fatima Whitbread gained Olympic bronze and silver medals within the javelin within the Nineteen Eighties

The gown code

EACH Olympic sport is ruled by guidelines, set by their respective federations.

Often these guidelines are to make sure opponents’ security and ensure nobody will get an unfair benefit due to the garments they’re sporting.

For feminine Volleyball gamers, every workforce should put on the identical package however they’ve 4 totally different decisions – a one-piece, a prime and bikini bottoms, a prime and shorts or a cropped vest and shorts.

In Gymnastics, ladies should put on leotards which could be quick or long-sleeved and might even embrace lined legs. But in Figure Skating athletes could be penalised for sporting too little, that means costumes have to be modest.

Track and subject outfits are much less managed, however have to be tight and form-fitting for streamlined our bodies.

Athletes in these occasions can put on no matter they like together with vests, shorts, half-tights, even leotards and one-piece pace fits. They may even decide to not put on sneakers.

Kit designs are monitored by Olympic officers and have particular branding measurement guidelines.

German gymnast Elisabeth Seitz, left, prefers a ‘unitard’ to the traditional leotard


German gymnast Elisabeth Seitz, left, prefers a ‘unitard’ to the normal leotardCredit: Zuma PressNorway were fined for refusing to wear skimpy pants


Norway have been fined for refusing to put on skimpy pantsCredit: Instagram / @elisabethhammerstadAmerican ​feminine seashore volleyball participant Alix Klineman ​practices forward of Olympics

Leave a Reply

Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124