British gymnasts slam 'outdated and sexist' leotard rules saying they ...

British gymnasts have slammed 'outdated and sexist' guidelines about the leotards they are asked to wear when they compete. 

Jennifer Pinches, who represented Team GB at the London Olympics in 2012, told The Times that the guidelines around wearing leotards at competition are 'perpetuating extremely harmful ideals.' 

According to current guidelines laid out by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG), gymnastics outfits during competition should be 'elegant' with a leg length not exceeding 2cm. 

German gymnast Sarah Voss (pictured)  set a trend by wearing a full length bodysuits to compete at the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships held in April

German gymnast Sarah Voss (pictured)  set a trend by wearing a full length bodysuits to compete at the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships held in April 

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It comes after German gymnast Sarah Voss set a trend by wearing a full length bodysuits to compete at the 2021 European Gymnastics Championships in April in  favour of the traditionally worn leotard. 

She was closely followed by Elisabeth Seitz and Kim Bui, who wore similar suits during the women's all-round final. 

In a message shared on her http://instagram.com/p/CN7hwjGFLLR/, Ms Voss wrote that the decision to wear the full length version of the leotards, called a unitard, was 'close to the hearts' of her team and that she was 'immensely proud' to wear it. 

'Feeling good and still looking elegant. Why not?' she wrote.  

Gymnasts do have the choice to wear unitards at the European Championships, but there are traditionally worn for religious reasons, and seeing the style worn at a high profile competition is rare. 

Jennifer Pinches, (pictured) who represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics has said the rules around competition clothing are outdated

Jennifer Pinches, (pictured) who represented Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics has said the rules around competition clothing are outdated

FIG have stated that gymnasts are able to 'choose attire they feel the most comfortable with to compete.'

Ms Pinches, who co-founded the Gymnasts for Change campaign with former elite gymnast Claire Heafford, said the guidelines around leotards are outdated, and told The Times that it is 'evidence of a sport that is prioritising aesthetics over athletics.' 

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