Too sexy for my clothes? Uproar over US female athletes' uniforms ahead of Olympics

Nike is in hot water after it unveiled a track and field suit in time for the Olympics featuring an unreasonably high bikini line, prompting some of the athletes to ponder if their privates will be on public display; company promises tailor-made adjustments for every competitor

With all the global drama swirling around, it's easy to forget we've got a date with the Olympics in Paris just three months from now. But now, it seems, we have a fashion faux pas to jog our memory. This time the spotlight shines on Nike, which recently unveiled its Olympic uniform designs for the delegations from several countries, including the United States.
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מדי הנבחרת האולימפית של ארה"ב מוצגים בפריז
מדי הנבחרת האולימפית של ארה"ב מוצגים בפריז
Showcasing the new Olympic track suits
(Photo: Reuters)
There are a variety of stunning designs, but being the top dog comes with a price – intense scrutiny. One of the designs features a bikini-styled bottom what can be described as an ambitious high-cut, leaving everyone wondering if the designer was, perhaps, aiming for a new kind of world record.
The biggest critics of the garment – which, to be fair, was presented on a mannequin and not a flesh-and-blood athlete – were some of the prominent contenders for Olympic medals in Paris. Long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall wrote: "Hold on, is my 'hoo-ha' going to be out?" Hurdling star Harrison Clay tagged the European Wax Center and wrote: "Would you like to sponsor the US team for the upcoming Olympics, please!?"
Hurdler Colleen Quigley responded with less humor, saying that the outfit was simply impossible to compete in. And former runner and current coach Lauren Fleshman said out loud what many were thinking: "This is an outfit born of patriarchal forces, stop making things difficult for half the population."
Female athletes are making their voices heard when it comes to their uniforms. Sports fans will remember the courageous Norwegian beach handball team who ditched their skimpy bikinis for shorts in 2021. They faced a €150 fine for their defiance, but their stand against impractical and revealing attire sparked a change, leading the European Handball Federation to revise its regulations. Similar protests have challenged the mandatory white shorts in soccer and tennis.
Nike, a company known for its commitment to equality and inclusion, surprised many with the revealing high-cut bikini design for the U.S. women's track and field team. However, this isn't the only option available. At the Paris event, runners Sha'Carri Richardson, Anna Cockrell, and Athing Mu showcased designs offering much more coverage.
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מדי הנבחרת האולימפית של ארה"ב מוצגים בפריז
מדי הנבחרת האולימפית של ארה"ב מוצגים בפריז
The uniforms of the US Olympic team on display in Paris
(Photo: AFP)
Nike's former design chief, John Hoke, assured that there are "nearly 50 unique items" for the athletes to choose from. They claim these designs were developed in collaboration with the athletes and the American Athletics Association, and they promise tailor-made adjustments for every competitor.
Katie Moon, a pole vaulter sponsored by Nike, spoke out in defense of the brand on social media. While acknowledging concerns about the specific garment in question, she highlighted the wide range of uniform options available to female athletes, including at least 20 different combinations and the ability to choose from models designed for men.
On Instagram, she wrote: "I absolutely love people defending women, but we have at least 20 different combinations of a uniform to compete in with all the tops and bottoms available to us. We DO have the men’s option available to us if we want it. When you attack the buns and crop top saying something along the lines of it’s 'sexist' (which if that was our only choice, it would be), even if it’s with the best of intentions, you’re ultimately attacking our decision as women to wear it."
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