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  Over the past few weeks, the track and field community has been up in arms regarding the women’s Olympic uniforms, specifically a one piece with a suspicious cut. Although the media surrounding it has died down over the past few weeks, it adds to the prominent debate about the uniforms made for women in sports.

  The Instagram account Citius Mag, a running and track and field news media company, posted a “first look” for the United States track running kits for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Although many people had issues with the “Comic Sans” font used for the uniform and the stylistic choice, the biggest issue was the cut on the bottom of the women’s uniform.

  With the uniform being displayed on a mannequin, it is very very easy to see that the cut is horribly high in the front and would undoubtedly be incredibly revealing. Having been referred to by many as resembling the front of a thong, the uniform sparked outrage not only amongst the fans of the sport, but the athletes themselves as well. 


Imaged sourced by Citius Mag

 United States Olympic long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall was one of many athletes to take to social media to share her opinion. Her Instagram post, “wait my hoo haa is gonna be out”, has become a very viral comment in the track community. Other Olympic female athletes added in their own comments under this post, such as US middle-distance runner Colleen Quigley’s “I mean I still wanna make the team but… ” and US sprinter Celera Barnes’s “My 13th reason.”

  According to NPR, Nike said that the uniforms were the “most athlete-informed, data-driven and visually unified the company has ever produced” and, as stated by Nike Chief Innovation Officer John Hoke at a press release, had been tailored to best fit athletes of different body types while maximizing breathability.

  It should be noted that the uniform that was shown in Citius Mag’s post is not the only uniform that the USA team has to wear. With the nature of track and field kits, or uniform sets, there is a large variety and different styles that the athletes can choose from. Sha’carri Richardson and Anna Cockrell showcased this variety at the Nike Air Innovation Summit on April 11th in France, rocking the shorts and buns styles respectively. However, it is again important to note that the women’s buns that Cockrell wore did not appear to be the ones from Citius Mag’s post that originally sparked the outrage.

  Although those specific uniforms are not the only option, this still speaks volumes about the culture of women in sports and what they are given to wear, especially on camera. This is not the first time that women were given revealing uniforms, and it is not the first time that there has been public outcry or pushback from the athletes themselves.

  According to CBC news, In 2021 the Norwegian women’s handball team was fined for wearing thigh-length elastic shorts during a match instead of the regulation bikini-bottoms that made the team very uncomfortable. According to NBC News, the fine was $1,500 euros, or about $1,700, which the popstar P!nk offered to pay for the team. 

  In 2018, Serena Williams wore a black catsuit to the French Open. This decision prompted the president of the French Tennis Federation,

, to issue a new dress code that banned catsuits. Williams’ next match at the U.S. open showcased her wearing a black tutu after the ban.

    When it comes to what uniforms to wear, it is completely up to the athlete and what they feel comfortable wearing while they perform. However, when their decisions on what they want to wear is restricted or makes them feel uncomfortable or inappropriately sexualized, that’s where the issues arise. The fact that that specific, extremely revealing US women’s uniform bottoms were made at all, and the backlash that they got from the women of the team they were made for, says a lot about the process of making these uniforms and how little to no say female athletes get in the making of their own uniforms.

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