Female athletes criticize Nike's skimpy Olympic track uniform

 Nike unveiled uniforms that U.S. track athletes can don in the Paris Olympics this summer, and one particular female outfit has drawn most of the attention — for apparently being skimpy and revealing.

The leotard, cut particularly high on the hips, is being roundly called out as inappropriate for the world's most famous sporting event.

Responding to an Instagram post of the leotard from Citius magazine, U.S. long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall — who finished sixth at the Tokyo games — wrote, “Wait my hoo haa is gonna be out.”

American hurdler and 2008 Olympian Queen Harrison Claye also poked fun at the controversial threads, tagging European Wax Center in the Citius post and asking, "Would you like to sponsor Team USA for the upcoming Olympic Games!?"

Anna Cockrell of Team USA wears Nike's Paris 2024 Track & Field kit.
Anna Cockrell of Team USA wears Nike's Paris 2024 track and field kit.Nike

When the duds were revealed last week, Nike said its uniform offerings were based on extensive testing and talks with athletes.

“Nike designed the Paris 2024 track and field kits to offer athletes a range of silhouettes tailored for various sports disciplines, body types, and sizes, prioritizing performance and maximum breathability,” Nike Chief Innovation Officer John Hoke said in a statement.

There are more than 25 style combos for female athletes, not including various layering options.

Athing Mu of Team USA wears Nike's Paris 2024 Track & Field kit.
Athing Mu of Team USA wears Nike's Paris 2024 track and field kit. Nike

Former track star Lauren Fleshman, who won five NCAA championships and two national championships as a professional, blasted the leotard as "a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports."

"I’m sorry, but show me one WNBA or NWSL team who would enthusiastically support this kit," Fleshman wrote on Instagram.

"Women’s kits should be in service to performance, mentally and physically," she said. "If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it. This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field."

American pole vaulter Katie Moon, who is sponsored by Nike, also criticized the leotard, posting on Instagram: "I want to be clear and start by saying that what was shown on the mannequin was concerning, and warranted the response it received."

But Moon, who won a gold medal in Tokyo, also said that female athletes have many choices and that even if a woman were to pick the revealing leotard, her choice shouldn't be questioned.

"And if you honestly think that on the most important days of our careers, we’re choosing what we wear to appease the men watching over what we’re most comfortable and confident in, to execute to the best of our abilities, that’s pretty offensive," she wrote.

USA Track and Field, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and Nike did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

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