© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: 2021 Artistic Gymnastics Championships
(Reuters) – Jamaica’s Danusia Francis said the decision of German athletes to compete in full-body suits at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships last week was an empowerment for women.
Sarah Voss put on a full body suit at the Basel event and was followed by teammates Kim Bui and Elisabeth Seitz. The German Gymnastics Association (DTB) said the move was a resistance to sexualization in sport.
“I think it’s amazing,” said Francis, who previously represented Great Britain but will compete for Jamaica at this year’s Tokyo Games, told the BBC. “I feel empowered that we have this option where we can choose to cover up.”
For gymnasts, the standard competition outfit is a jersey with long, half-length sleeves and sleeveless clothing.
Outfits that cover legs are allowed in international competitions according to the gymnastics regulations, but have so far been used almost exclusively for religious reasons.
“I think as people stay in the sport longer, they obviously aren’t young girls and they have votes, they are women. It was great to see them make a statement and on an international stage,” said Francis.
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