Female gymnast team dons new Olympics uniform to combat ‘sexualization in gymnastics”

Tokyo 2020

Germany’s Sarah Voss, seen here during qualifications at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel, was one of the first to wear a bodysuit for non-religious reasons at competition back in April. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – Team Deutschland is taking a stand.

Germany’s female gymnasts have debuted new competition uniforms ahead of their first event at the Olympics, designed to fight back against what the German Gymnastics Federation previously called “sexualization in gymnastics.”

The team, which formerly wore more common leotards at previous games, will now be decked out in unitards that cover their legs and thighs, as evidenced by photos of the team at podium training earlier this week.

“How do you like our new outfit?” asked Olympian Sarah Voss in an Instagram post showing Voss and teammates Elizabeth Seitz, Pauline Schafer-Betz and Kim Bui in the magenta uniforms. Each of the other women, too, proudly shared photos of the new unitard to their accounts.

Voss and the German Gymnastics Federation — officially the Deutscher Turner-Bund, or DTB — had previously announced that its female gymnasts would have the option to wear the unitards in April. In a tweet, the DTB explained the change as a shift away from “sexualization in gymnastics,” said the uniforms “present aesthetically” without sacrificing comfort, according to a translation.

“As part of the German national gymnastics team, we are also a role model for many younger athletes and we would like to show them how they can present themselves aesthetically in a different form of clothing without feeling uncomfortable with certain elements,” Voss said in a DTB news release.

Voss was one of the first to present the uniform in competition at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel, Switzerland, earlier this year. She also said she was “immensely proud” to debut the uniform, adding that Seitz and Bui would also be wearing them at upcoming competitions.

Voss, seen here in a unitard during competition in June, debuted Team Deutschland’s new Olympic uniforms on Instagram with her fellow teammates. (Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

At the time, the DTB said its athletes had received positive feedback regarding the change. Many of the gymnasts’ social-media followers, too, have heaped praise on the team after seeing this week’s posts from the Olympics, with some calling them “elegant” and others thanking the women for “taking control of this narrative.”

“You all are the role models that young girls need to be confident leaders and in control of their body and body image,” one Instagram follower wrote. “You will change the world, you are changing the world.”

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