German Athletes at Olympics Wear Unitards in Protest of Gymnastics ‘Sexualization’

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The German gymnastics team at the Tokyo Olympics decided to wear unitards in protest of sexualization in the sport.

Athletes Elisabeth Seitz, Kim Bui, Pauline Schäfer, and Sarah Voss, have been wearing full-length outfits coving their legs and most of their upper bodies.

This doesn’t break any rules when it comes to their sport. However, leotards are what we usually see gymnasts wear.

Gymnast Sarah Voss previously wore a unitard at the European Gymnastics Championships, which was fully supported by the German Gymnastics Federation.

According to the BBC, the organization said back in April that the athletes were doing this in protest of “sexualization in gymnastics,” adding that they wanted to prevent sexual abuse.

Voss went on to say: “We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example.”

Speaking to broadcaster ZDF, Voss added: “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.”

In an Instagram post Voss’ teammate, Pauline Schäfer, 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.”

She then asked fans: “How do you like our new outfit?”

This comes after Norwegian handball players were charged with wearing “improper clothing” for wearing shorts instead of the usual bikini bottoms during the championships in Bulgaria. The European Handball Federation was required to dish out a fine of 1,500 euros ($1,700).

An EHF statement read: “The disciplinary commission at the Beach Handball Euro 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing.

“In the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the athlete uniform regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball rules of the game.

“The disciplinary commission decided to impose a fine of 150 euros per player, for a total of 1,500 euros.”

The Norwegian Handball Federation (NHF) vowed to pay any fine to show support for the women and what they stand for.

According to the Daily Mail, NHF president Kare Geir Lio spoke to AFP, saying: “Of course we would pay any fine. We are all in the same boat. The most important thing is to have equipment that athletes are comfortable with.”

EHF spokesman Andrew Barringer said: “The EHF is committed to bringing this topic forward in the interest of its member federations, however, it must also be said that a change of the rules can only happen at IHF level.”