Gitcher legs out

The shock, the outrage, the scandal – a gymnast actually wore clothing at a competition.

She did not break any rules, but Sarah Voss’s full-body suit at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Switzerland defied convention.

What convention is that exactly? Is there a convention that gymnasts compete naked?

Until now women and girls have only covered their legs in international competition for religious reasons.

Ohhhhh that convention – the one where men wear clothes and women wear bathing suits. Let’s not just rush ahead, let’s talk about that. Why is that a convention? Why does the same convention apply in figure skating competitions? Why do men wear clothes while women wear bathing suits? What the hell is that? The women aren’t there to get sexual attention or leers or gropes, they’re there to compete in their sport, so why is that the convention? I’ve never understood it, and I’ve never understood why people don’t object to it and make it stop.

Voss – from Germany – was supported by her country’s gymnastics federation and said she was proud of her decision.

“We hope gymnasts uncomfortable in the usual outfits will feel emboldened to follow our example,” she said.

Better yet the convention should just change. The existence of the convention makes it look as if the women – and the women only – are competing partly on hotness as well as on sport. It’s irrelevant, and it introduces an element of unfairness.

The convention could be changed by going the other way, by the way – having the men wear bathing suits. There’s something to be said for being able to see the muscles on the legs that do those vaults and flips, but then show us all the muscles.

The German federation (DTB) said its gymnasts were taking a stand against “sexualisation in gymnastics”, adding that the issue had become all the more important to prevent sexual abuse.

Yes but even without sexual abuse – why should it be sexualised at all? Why can’t it just be gymnastics?

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