Women's track and field team uniform for Paris 2024 Olympics sparks controversy: 'You can see everything'

In response to the criticism, Nike and the USATF explained that they consulted and worked with several athletes to design the apparel.

Several Olympic and Paralympic representatives of the U.S. track and field team complained about the uniform they will wear during the Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held this summer in Paris, France. The reason is that the uniform, designed by Nike, is revealing and may show certain parts of the body when the athletes are competing in their events.

The design that the athletes will wear, which was presented on a mannequin a few days ago, consists of a jersey, very similar to a bathing suit, with the colors of the American flag. The problem, according to those who showed their discontent, comes from the part of the uniform that covers the female genital area.

A uniform 'born of patriarchal forces'

One of the first to speak out was Jaleen Roberts. The Paralympic long jumper said, in statements picked up by Fox News, that, when they have to perform their events, they run the risk of being exposed: "This mannequin is standing still and everything’s showing… imagine MID FLIGHT."

The comments came not only from active athletes, but also from retired ones. Lauren Fleshman, a track athlete who retired from professional competition in 2016, was more forceful in her criticism of Nike and the United States Track and Field Federation (USATF) for allowing athletes to wear "a costume born of patriarchal forces":

 

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Colleen Quigley, a middle distance and 3,000-meter steeplechase athlete, added to the criticism. "They are absolutely not made for performance. Our bodies are all different, and it seems silly to expect us to compete at the highest level of our sport without a properly fit uniform," she said, in remarks reported by Sports Illustrated.

Nike and USATF: Athletes were consulted on the design

In the face of the criticism, Nike issued a statement picked up by the Associated Press in which it detailed that it consulted and worked "directly with athletes throughout every stage of the design process."

"Athlete options and choices were the driving force for USATF in the planning process with Nike," said the U.S. federation, corroborating the words of the sports apparel company.

Not all criticism

One athlete who will represent the United States at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is Katie Moon. The pole vaulter, who will go to the Olympic event with the mission of defending the gold medal she won in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympic Games, came out to defend Nike's design, although she understands why some women are expressing their concern: