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Olympic Games 2024: Women's athletics clothing sparks controversy

Olympic Games 2024: Women's athletics clothing sparks controversy

USA Track & Field said on Sunday that American athletes will have multiple clothing options at the Paris Olympics, from July 26 to August 11, after controversy targeting one option that many athletes considered sexist.

The US Athletics Federation wrote in a press statement sent to Agence France-Presse: “The American uniforms that were unveiled Thursday are only two of the many options presented to athletes, 50 unique pieces for the Olympic Games.”

The USA Track & Field uniforms, made by manufacturing company Nike, were unveiled to great fanfare on Thursday in Paris. Women's tights with particularly tight fabric at the crotch level have sparked controversy in recent days, with many athletes or former athletes considering them sexist or impractical.

“Professional athletes should be able to compete without constantly thinking about removing their pubic hair or exposing their genitals,” Lauren Fleischman, the former US 5,000-meter champion, wrote on social networks.

She continued: “This is not an elite tracksuit, this is a uniform designed by patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome in women’s sports.”

US Olympic pole vault champion Katie Moon, a fan of this type of bottom, said she was “surprised” by the shirt provided, but noted that the athletes had “at least 20 different sets with as many shirts and socks available.”

“We also have men's clothing available. When you attack 'shorts' or leggings as 'sexist', you are attacking our decision as women to wear them. If you think our priority is choosing our clothing to be noticed by men at the expense of comfort during competition, then that is extremely insulting,” For her part, she said regretfully.

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Sprint star Shakari Richardson, the 100-meter world champion, wore a version of the American uniform with shorts during the show on Thursday.

France Press agency

The US Soccer Federation adds: “US Soccer can say that Nike consulted with athletes during the design process of the apparel to ensure it was comfortable and appropriate for the events.”

Nike was not immediately able to respond to AFP's request.