Olympics-Gymnastics-German women take a stand in full-body suits in Tokyo

FILE PHOTO: Gymnastics - 2021 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships - St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland - April 24, 2021 Germany's Elisabeth Seitz in action during the women's all-round final uneven bars REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

TOKYO (Reuters) - German female gymnasts will choose whether they want to wear full body-suits in Sunday's qualifications at the Tokyo Olympics after receiving accolades for donning the outfits in the past in a stand against the sexualisation of their sport.

The German team wore fuchsia unitards - combined leotards and leggings extending to the ankles - at their podium training in Tokyo on Thursday and said they could chose to wear them again when competition begins.

"We wanted to show that every woman, everybody, should decide what to wear," said Elisabeth Seitz, who will be competing in her third Games.

In recent years the sport has been rocked by widespread cases of sexual and physical abuse, including in the United States, prompting deep introspection and the introduction of new safety protocols meant to protect athletes.

The German team wore the full-body suits at the European championships in April in a move that was broadly praised by other female gymnasts.

"That doesn't mean we don't want to wear the normal leotard any more," the 27-year-old Seitz said. "It is a decision day by day, based on how we feel and what we want. On competition day, we will decide what to wear."

For women, the standard competition outfit is a leotard, with long, half-length sleeved and sleeveless garments allowed.

Outfits covering legs are allowed by the gymnastics rulebook in international competitions but to date they have been used almost exclusively for religious reasons.

"The coaches were also very much into it," said 21-year-old Sarah Voss. "They said they want us to feel the most confident and comfortable in any case."

Kim Bui, who also competed at the Rio and London Olympics, said the team's fashion choice was just as comfortable as a standard leotard.

"We also train in tights so we are used to the feeling," the 32-year-old said. "It is not that different between competition or training. It is comfortable and that is the most important thing."

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Gymnastics

Fu Jie clings on to age-old adage
Simone Biles condemns U.S. Olympic Committee, FBI for sex-abuse crisis
Gymnastics-Swiss trainers resign amid abuse allegations, poor performance
Tan eyes last chance to make dream come true
Shu Liang has clear plans to up the level of our gymnasts
Many ‘twisties’ and turns, but American exits Games a champ
Bulgaria break Russia’s stranglehold to emerge tops
Gymnast Sharul: Help men’s team qualify for Olympics
Olympics-Rhythmic Gymnastics-Bloody noses and back surgeries: gymnasts pay high price to compete
Russian twins on top in early qualifying rotations

Stories You'll Enjoy