British gymnasts hand over ‘outdated and sexist’ leotards, saying they maintain ‘harmful ideals’

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British gymnasts have rejected “outdated and sexist” guidelines about which leotards they should wear in competitions.

Jennifer Pinches, who represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, said The times that the guidelines surrounding the wearing of leotards during competitions “maintain extremely harmful ideals.”

According to the current guidelines established by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG), gymnastic outfits during the competition must be ‘elegant’ with a leg length of no more than 2 cm.

German gymnast Sarah Voss (pictured) set a trend by wearing full-length bodysuits to compete in the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships in April.

German gymnast Sarah Voss (pictured) set a trend by wearing full-length bodysuits to compete in the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships in April.

It comes after German gymnast Sarah Voss set a trend by wearing full-length bodysuits to compete in the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships in April in favor of the traditionally worn leotard.

She was followed closely by Elisabeth Seitz and Kim Bui, who wore similar suits in the women’s all-round final.

In a post shared on her Instagram account, Ms. Voss wrote that the decision to wear the full version of the leotards, called a unitard, was ‘close to the heart’ of her team and that she was ‘extremely proud’ to wear it.

‘Feeling good and still looking elegant. Why not?’ she wrote.

Gymnasts have the choice of wearing unitards at the European championships, but they are traditionally worn for religious reasons, and it is rare to see the style worn in a high-profile competition.

Jennifer Pinches, (pictured) who represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, has said competition clothing rules are outdated

Jennifer Pinches, (pictured) who represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, has said competition clothing rules are outdated

FIG has stated that gymnasts are able to “choose clothes that make them feel most comfortable competing.”

Ms. Pinches, who co-founded the Gymnasts for Change campaign with former elite gymnast Claire Heafford, said the guidelines around leotards are outdated, telling The Times it is “ a testament to a sport that favors aesthetics over athletics. ” .

The campaign, consisting of current and former gymnasts, coaches and parents of athletes, aims to raise awareness and end abusive gymnastics coaching practices, as well as support those who have experienced abuse within the sport.

Elisabeth Seitz (photo) also chose a unitard during the competition

Elisabeth Seitz (photo) also chose a unitard during the competition

Kim Bui (pictured) wore a similar suit during the women's all-round final

Kim Bui (pictured) wore a similar suit during the women’s all-round final

Becky Downie, a British Olympic gymnast, said the German team’s choice of style could spark a trend in gymnastics, adding that the issue of clothing in competitions “has always been a problem for female gymnasts.”

She told The Times that unitards contribute to the de-sexualization of gymnastics and that athletes should “ be able to feel at ease and [their] performance without worrying about what [they] looks like.’

The sport has been hit by allegations of sexual, emotional and physical abuse in many parts of the world, including the UK, US and Australia.

In America, Larry Nassar, a former national team doctor, was sentenced to 175 years behind bars after being convicted of sexually assaulting more than 200 women.

In America, Larry Nassar, a former national team doctor, was sentenced to 175 years behind bars after being convicted of sexually assaulting more than 200 women.

In America, Larry Nassar, a former national team doctor, was sentenced to 175 years behind bars after being convicted of sexually assaulting more than 200 women.

Some survivors of his abuse became household names and Olympic medalists.

In the UK, gymnasts have spoken out on issues within sports including eating disorders and body image distortions.

The German federation said the wearing of unitards by their athletes was to take a stand against the “sexualization in gymnastics.”

The International Federation of Gymnastics said athletes have been able to wear unitards in competition for ‘several years’, citing rhythmic gymnastics as an example of this.

Sarah Voss (pictured) has said she was extremely proud to wear the unitard to competitions

Sarah Voss (pictured) has said she was extremely proud to wear the unitard to competitions

It added that gymnasts have been reminded that they can wear one-piece leotards that reach to the ankles or with full leg coverage.

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