Olympics Paris 2024: Olympians criticise Nike over skimpy track kit that leaves women 'nearly naked'

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Olympic athletes have slammed Nike for its new track and field kit that leaves women “nearly naked”

US Olympics athletes have slammed Nike track and field kit for being too skimpy. Nike's Team USA track female athletes have criticised the sports brand, with US steeplechaser Colleen Quigley telling Reuters that the new kit is “absolutely not made for performance”.

It comes after the US sportswear brand unveiled its outfits for this summer's Olympic Games on Thursday (11 April). The images of the women's kit on a mannequin showed a very high-cut pantyline and triggered criticism from several athletes for what they saw as a decision to prioritise skimpiness over function.

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Nike said in an email to Reuters that it was offering athletes unitard options with both a brief and a short for this Olympics, whereas it only offered the brief for the Tokyo Olympics. Nike-sponsored pole vaulter Katie Moon posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the kit was "concerning" but added that women athletes are given many options on what to wear, and that she prefers briefs to shorts.

Olympic athletes have slammed Nike for its new track and field kit that leaves women “nearly naked”. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)Olympic athletes have slammed Nike for its new track and field kit that leaves women “nearly naked”. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Olympic athletes have slammed Nike for its new track and field kit that leaves women “nearly naked”. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for USA Track & Field said: "Athlete options and choices were the driving force for USATF in the planning process with Nike." Lauren Fleshman, the US national champion in the 5000m in 2006 and 2010, was highly critical of the new kit. She wrote in an Instagram post: “I’m sorry, but show me one WNBA or NWSL team who would enthusiastically support this kit. This is for Olympic Track and Field. Professional athletes should be able to compete without dedicating brain space to constant pube vigilance or the mental gymnastics of having every vulnerable piece of your body on display.

“Women’s kits should be in service to performance, mentally and physically. If this outfit was truly beneficial to physical performance, men would wear it.”

She added: “This is not an elite athletic kit for track and field. This is a costume born of patriarchal forces that are no longer welcome or needed to get eyes on women’s sports. ... Stop making it harder for half the population @nike @teamusa @usatf.”

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Tara Davis-Woodhall, an American who placed sixth in the long jump at the Tokyo Games and took silver at last year’s world championships, said: “Wait my hoo haa is gonna be out.” Nike told Reuters it will have tailors available for Olympic and Paralympic athletes this year.

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