Georgie Parker: USA Olympic outfits as sexist as they are hideous

Georgie Parker
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Nike is under fire after Team USA’s track and field uniforms for the 2024 Paris Games were revealed this week. And here is what the track and field athletes will be wearing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Unknown
Nike is under fire after Team USA’s track and field uniforms for the 2024 Paris Games were revealed this week. And here is what the track and field athletes will be wearing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Unknown Credit: Unknown/Instagram

It’s nearly the Olympics, so naturally countries are starting to release their Paris 2024 kits. France have come out as early contenders for best ‘fit, with vintage looking outfits even the coolest of kids would line up for.

Australia released theirs a few weeks back, and classic Australia, it looks a little nerdy, but they’ve played a straight bat and it will get the job done.

The USA, backed by Nike, are drip feeding theirs to us like Beyoncé did her recent country album. They’ve released their track and field uniform for Paris 2024, and well, all I can say is holy camel toe.

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For those who haven’t seen, the men, as usual, have tight knee length bike shorts in dark, masculine colours.

The women have a pink tinge body suit with bottoms so high cut they could have a run on Baywatch from the 90’s. You’d be forgiven to think you’ve come across the swimming uniforms because the thought of running in these makes me uncomfortable.

These just could not been designed by athletes, let alone checked by athletes, and I’d be surprised given the cut, it was even checked by a female in general. It’s hard to look at these uniforms and not think there is a huge amount of gender inequality going on.

I wondered if this was me just not understanding track or field because my body even in its peak would absolutely never fit in these uniforms, so I checked with some mates who are Olympian track athletes.

They’re not into them either saying, and I quote “yeah they’re so bad” and “what’s with the 70’s cut?”

Uniforms need to be inclusive, sure, but comfortability and performance need to be front of mind, and women shouldn’t have to continually fight the fight before they even start their event.

For my entire time as an athlete I felt rarely that uniforms ever fit us, yet the men always seems happy.

Pants never fit our legs or backsides, our breasts rarely accounted for, in footy, to fit my legs in to footy shorts I was having to wear a size 14-16 yet they fell down at my waist so the drawstring was having to work overtime to keep them up, which is exactly what you’re wanting to worry about when running around tired.

Georgie Parker in her AFLW uniform in 2019.
Georgie Parker in her AFLW uniform in 2019. Credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images/AFL Media

It’s almost as if you can’t make footy shorts the same for women as you do teenage boys (go figure). Female bodies in general have much more variance in them than men, meaning a one size fits all approach impossible.

“They’re just uniforms, don’t make this a sexist thing!” I’m pre-emptively hearing some — mostly men — say.

Sure, the option is for the women to wear the bike short option, but the female option needs to be an option with performance as an absolute priority.

Women are forever fighting the old-fashioned patriarchal attitude in sport, and these uniforms to me signify just that.

Georgie Parker in her Hockeyroos strip.
Georgie Parker in her Hockeyroos strip. Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

It was only in 2021 that Norway’s beach handball team was fined by the European Handball Federation for not adhering to the ‘bikini’ uniform that was apparently required.

They wore bike shorts instead of the “bikini bottoms no more than four inches wide” meanwhile what did the men in the same tournament wear? Board shorts and singlets.

It was 2006 when Norway first requested to be able to play in shorts, not bikinis, so 15 years on, women are still fighting to able to seen as athletes rather than objects.

Uniforms need to be inclusive, sure, but comfortability and performance need to be front of mind, and women shouldn’t have to continually fight the fight before they even start their event.

“Look good, feel good, play good” is a mentality I’m happy to buy in to, and tried to buy in to it when I played.

The question of this uniform isn’t whether it looks good, but as a woman, I can guarantee this uniform isn’t feeling good so will it impact the playing good? Time will tell. Let’s just hope for no mishaps.

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