German Athlete First To Wear Full-Body Suit at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championship in Basel
Sarah Voss, a German athlete, was the first woman ever to wear a full-body suit at the European Artistic Gymnastics championship in Basel in 2021. She is glad that she did it and proud of herself for being a role model, which is shown by the athletes following her example, such as those at the multi-discipline competition in Stuttgart. It was a positive experience while she felt comfortable and good-looking, as well.
Better well-being and still aesthetic?
In gymnastics, the focus is on the athletes’ bodies as they perform. Therefore, the whole performance, including the clothes, must be elegant. This is the reason why athletes are often very lightly dressed, only wearing short and tight, swimsuit-like clothing, especially at competitions, which makes many of them feel uncomfortable and naked. People often think that these are the only outfits allowed. However, wearing full-body suits has been allowed since 2009 – but they are hardly ever worn, which is proven by the fact that Voss’ performance has become such a controversial topic in the media. Sarah Voss’ performance and the incredibly positive reactions show that even full-body suits can be aesthetic and serve their purpose in gymnastics – and, most importantly, having to worry less about wardrobe malfunctions can improve the athletes’ performances.
A Sign against Sexualisation
Gender discussions are an everyday topic these days, but nevertheless, if even just one single woman tries something new or unusual, the whole world talks about it. This is about self-determination and the bodily autonomy of women, as well. They should be free to decide how they dress in our society and to feel good about it. We live in an open-minded culture regarding the clothes worn at competitions; that much should have become clear after Voss’ brave performance. Moreover, the gymnasts practise their sport because they like it and to have fun, not because they want to present themselves or their bodies. Voss and her fellow competitors on the German national team started a new era and hope for the others to follow their example so they can finally feel safe and comfortable – not only while practising, but at competitions as well.
By now, we should have reached a point where this topic should not need to be discussed anymore but be considered normal. Sarah Voss left a mark on gymnastics with her decision. She serves as a role model for other athletes – young and old – and took a step further towards rethinking deep-rooted behaviours.
Author: Emma Ripper