Reactions to Nike’s Controversial Olympics Uniforms

Last Updated: June 13, 2024By

Reactions to Nike’s Controversial Olympics Uniforms

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In the moments leading up to her sending a comment on Instagram that went viral, Tara Davis-Woodhall couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

The American long jumper and world silver medalist was scrolling through photos of Nike’s Team USA uniforms for the upcoming Games when she came across one that caught her eye. It was a high-cut leotard, barely covering anything, showcased at an event in Paris. Citius Mag had posted a picture of this skimpy outfit next to a more modest male one-piece kit.

 

The comparison sparked outrage online about sexism in elite sports, and Davis-Woodhall felt compelled to join the conversation.

“Wait, my hoo haa is gonna be out,” she commented, echoing the sentiments of many athletes who criticized Nike’s choice to prioritize sexiness over practicality. Nike responded, saying female runners will have options, including shorts.

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At the Team USA media summit in Manhattan, Davis-Woodhall and other Olympians discussed the backlash. “It was the picture that did no justice,” she said. “I saw one of the uniforms today. They’re beautiful. They’re not like the picture.”

Gabby Thomas, the sprinter from Atlanta, was initially shocked by the viral photo. But seeing US pole vaulter Katie Moon defend the uniform online made her feel better. Moon emphasized that athletes have the right to choose what they wear, whether it’s a swimsuit or a potato sack. Thomas echoed this sentiment, saying she loves competing in minimal clothing but appreciates having options.

Nike claimed to have consulted athletes during the design process, a point Thomas supported. “Athletes were definitely consulted,” she said. “That’s why everyone was shocked when they saw the photo because athletes wouldn’t have approved of that look.”

Fiona O’Keeffe, who qualified for Paris in the marathon, isn’t worried about the uniforms. “I believe there will be something that works,” she said.

Davis-Woodhall added, “Let’s make the uniforms for the people wearing them, instead of for the views.”

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