Olympic uniforms for women are frequently regressive, especially for beach events. The Norwegian women’s beach handball team has found an ally in their cause against sexist uniforms: Pink. Gossip Cop has the story.
Skimpy Uniforms Lead To Major Protest
The 2021 Olympic Games have seen a few women’s teams actively rebel against sexist uniform standards. The German gymnastics team is wearing leotards that reach their ankles. In another international competition last week, the Norwegian handball team chose to wear shorts like the men’s team instead of bikini bottoms, irking the European Handball Federation. The team was fined $1775 for “improper clothing.”
The fine was met with swift opposition. Norway’s minister of culture called the ruling “completely ridiculous,” and tennis legend Billie Jean King agreed. One star offered to pay the fine herself. Pink chimed in on Twitter to express her support.
She said, “Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.” The offer was appreciated by the team, as was the immense international support.
Pink won’t actually need to pay the fine, for the European Handball Federation donated to pay the fine itself. It looks like the EHF is already taking steps to change its standards.
Are Bikinis Mandatory?
Bikinis have been optional in another beach sport, Volleyball, since 2012 when the International Volleyball Federation allowed shorts to be worn in competition. No such change has come for handball, but hopefully, this protest will get the ball rolling. The sport could be added to the Olympics in 2024, so here’s hoping change is made before then.
Some athletes prefer to wear bikinis anyway, as the less fabric there is the less chance that sand can get stuck. Ultimately, this really should be a choice left up to the athletes, and it’s just scummy for the EHF to police uniforms like this. Change is luckily in motion, so the protest worked as the team wanted.
Other Olympic Stories
The 2021 Olympics have stoked more controversy than usual. COVID-19 rages on in Tokyo, leading many to question if the games should happen at all. The suspension of Sha’Carri Richardson drew critiques of sexism and racism. Many are also focusing on the mental strain the games bring to its most popular athletes, like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles. For better or worse, this year’s Olympics will be remembered for a very long time.
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