You no longer do gymnastics in a swimsuit, but in a power suit

On Friday, the German team led by Elisabeth Seitz was surprised by his outfit: not a mini dress, but a full-body suit. Fits modern gymnastics. Girls under 16 are slowly giving way to women 18 and older.

John Folkers

At the start of the all-around final for Europe, one by one of 24 gymnasts, the example of the German clothing revolution demonstrated itself. Commander Elizabeth Seitz appeared on Friday afternoon in a full-body, full-body suit, with black legs at the ankles and a multicolored bodice.

Behind Seitz, Dutchman Lake Weavers skated down Jakobhalle Square in a plain blue toilet, the size of a bathing suit, the official name being “leotard.” When the German followed, she fixed the fabric on her buttocks with her right hand. It’s just called mode. It’s a familiar feat in women’s gymnastics.

All gymnasts, no matter how confident they are on the floor, crossbar or bridge, constantly wear clothes that slide away from the buttocks after great effort. Sticky sticks aren’t enough to make the pants stick to the skin. And the depiction of gymnasts doing the splits, former champion Verona van de Loer complained in her autobiography, is distasteful to some.

The suit, which was suddenly seen two years ago at the World Cup in Baku with Azerbaijani Marina Nekrasova, who did not want to insult her Muslim country, caused a sensation at the European Championships in Basel. A protest against sexism will be at the pinnacle of this women’s sport. Others said this only served to distract attention from current problems in German gymnastics: the investigation into the abusive behavior of Chemnitzer head coach Gabi Friese, who was accused by dozens of gymnasts, who was also discredited Gerrit Biltmann in Holland at Olympia. appointed Stutzpunkt.

Lake Weavers just asked Seitz before taking up his position at the Swiss Palace of Sports. Why was Ellie wearing this unusual suit? Because she found it comfortable. And yes, you should feel comfortable in the body and in sports. I have never seen such a suit in our sport. It should suit you. It’s a topic I’m not really drawn to.

Weavers, who is extremely agile in her famous floor exercises, considers gymnastics a “beauty sport.” “With your legs showing, this creates beautiful body lines when doing gymnastics.” You won’t let the suit fit her. Many people feel the same about her, she suspects after a survey in the catacombs that has not been conducted. Fellow Naomi Visser agrees that looking at and eventually buying such a shimmering garment is one of the greatest pleasures in a young gymnast’s life.

However, the Netherlands is the country that wants an international revolution in gymnastics clothing. Young players who feel uncomfortable in simple swimwear used as competition clothing are allowed to wear shorts in the Netherlands. This led to a points deduction, a discriminatory rule, which progressive director Mareke van der Plas of the Gymnastics Association, KNGU, set aside.

Last year, at an online conference of the World Gymnastics Federation Vig, Van der Plas and colleague Froukje Smits (University of Utrecht) made suggestions to better understand the consequences of wearing the smallest clothes in the gymnastics arena. According to Smiths, the requirements for “desirable femininity and elegance” are emphasized by the current version of the ultra-mini dress.

From the teacher’s point of view, this creates an imbalance between the coach and the pupil. “Clothes make gymnasts weaker in relation to others.” She considers leotards “one of the pillars of gymnastics culture”. Along with her colleagues Knoppers and Jacobs, she wrote the revealing report “Turnonkruid, Mow But Not Weed” in 2015.

The statement by German gymnasts by Smits is a strong signal for change. Now the gymnast is the obedient girl who only later in the career or after career protests against the guidance and treatment she received. In her study of English, Smits talks about the “docile pixie model.”

Obedient fairies nodding yes and amen, which also meet the acrobatic requirements of gymnastics more easily. In this regard, the National Confederation of Trade Unions, together with the unions of six other countries of Western Europe (not Germany), insisted on raising the age of the elderly. Now fifteen-year-old players (the year they turn 16) can compete in the major tournaments.

The Netherlands would like to see an additional two years: 18 is the proposal. Two-time Olympian Celine van Gerner on behalf of the Netherlands addressed the federation’s online meeting with the message that gymnasts should be given time to adulthood, maturity, and only then be judged at the highest level. It is very doubtful whether the World Federation would agree to this. On Friday, at odds with this attitude of the Western world, the all-around championship for Europe fell to a very young, bone-thin Rusin, Victoria Listonova. She’ll just be 16 in a few weeks. Lake Weavers, eighth in the final standings, almost laughed when she was told she was twice the age of the champ.

For now, there has been a little magic about Listonova, the 2019 junior world champion and Olympic medal contender this summer in Tokyo. Because she can participate in it due to the postponement of the games. It was impossible last year. The Russian is similar in body to Nadia Comaneci, who ruled Olympique Montreal in 1976 as a 14-year-old gymnast and thus enforced the ‘small, young and very light’ trend: 1.53 x 45 kilograms was until recently the height and weight of an international gymnast.

Leckie Weavers, 29: Gymnastics is more of a women’s sport these days. We’re going from 16 to 20, where I’m above average. When I competed in the same qualifying group with Listunova on Wednesday, it was like going back in time. This was the old standard. As it was in the past.

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