April 22 (Reuters) - Germany’s Sarah Voss earned praise for donning a full-body suit at the 2021 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Basel, which the German Gymnastics Association (DTB) said was a stand against sexualisation.
In an Instagram post, Voss said she was proud to perform in such an outfit, receiving a flurry of positive comments.
“As part of the German national team, we are also a role model for many younger female athletes and would like to show them how they can present themselves aesthetically in a different form of clothing without feeling uncomfortable,” said Voss.
For female athletes, the standard gymnastic competition outfit is a leotard, with long, half-length sleeved and sleeveless garments allowed.
Outfits covering legs are allowed by the gymnastics rulebook in international competitions, but to date they have been used almost exclusively for religious reasons.
The DTB said on Twitter that their athletes in Basel would wear the full body suit and it was a stand “against sexualisation in gymnastics”.
Voss’s body suit received widespread support from within the sport, where the debate about the use of leotards has grown louder in recent years.
“Amazing,” Canadian gymnast Ellie Black said on Instagram, commenting on Voss’s post, while Australian gymnast Georgia Godwin said: “Love this! Congrats Sarah!”
On Facebook, an article on Voss’s body suit by German news outlet Tagesschau earned 10,000 “likes” and 1,600 comments.
Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk Editing by Toby Davis