Nike Under Fire Over 'Outrageous' Uniforms for Women's US Olympics

Nike Under Fire Over 'Outrageous' Uniforms for Women's US Olympics

The upcoming U.S. Olympic women's track and field uniforms have sparked controversy with words like "strippers," "patriarchy," and "outrageous" being thrown around, potentially altering perceptions of Olympic athletics, according to critics.

Nike Vice President of Apparel Innovation, Janett Nichol, highlighted the significance of apparel in the upcoming 2024 Olympics in Paris, suggesting that it might overshadow the athletic events themselves, as reported by CBS Sports.

Despite Nike's advanced design process involving body scanning and motion analysis, the negative feedback has been substantial. Similar backlash arose previously regarding Nike's involvement in Major League Baseball, revealing underlying tensions.

Critics argue that Olympic runners should be seen as athletes, not as "strippers," expressing concerns about the revealing nature of the uniforms compared to those worn by male athletes.

While Nichol praised the innovative design process for its specificity and accuracy, questions arose from running coaches regarding the practicality and appropriateness of the uniforms, particularly concerning their impact on female athletes' comfort and performance.

Olympic athletes, including long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall, voiced their concerns on social media, highlighting potential wardrobe malfunctions during competition.

Lauren Fleshman, a two-time U.S. 5,000-meter champion, criticized the double standard created by the new uniforms, suggesting that they perpetuate outdated patriarchal norms rather than enhancing athletic performance.

Critics like Linda Flanagan expressed outrage, foreseeing a trickle-down effect to girls' high school sports if such revealing uniforms become the norm.

However, gold medalist pole vaulter Katie Moon defended the uniforms, emphasizing athletes' agency in their choice of attire.

She argued against labeling the uniforms as inherently sexist, stating that they offer comfort and practicality, especially in high-stakes competitions.

Moon's remarks underline the complex debate surrounding the intersection of athleticism, gender norms, and personal choice in sports attire.

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