Nike's Team USA Track and Field Kit Criticized as Revealing and Sexist

Athletes Speak Out Against Nike's Summer Olympic Outfits

World's leading sportswear and brand Nike has come under the ire of top athletes of the world. Several women athletes have criticized Nike's Team USA track and field kit for being unnecessarily revealing and sexist, following its unveiling for the upcoming Olympic Games.

The public release of images showcasing the women's kit on a mannequin, particularly highlighting a very high-cut pantyline, has sparked backlash from numerous athletes who believe the emphasis was placed on appearance rather than functionality.

Nike USA sportsperson kit

U.S. steeplechaser Colleen Quigley expressed her discontent, stating, "They are absolutely not made for performance."

This debate isn't new, as there has been ongoing discussion for years regarding the attire of women Olympians across various disciplines, such as beach volleyball and gymnastics. Some rules surrounding competition wear have begun to evolve.

During the Tokyo Olympics, Germany's women's gymnastics team notably wore full-length bodysuits in protest against sexualization in the sport. Additionally, Gymnastics New Zealand recently updated its attire regulations to permit women and girls to wear shorts or leggings over their leotards.

Nike responded to the criticism, stating they're providing athletes with unitard options, including both briefs and shorts for this year's Olympics, compared to offering only briefs during the Tokyo Olympics.

Nike's track and field kits for both men and women consist of nearly 50 apparel pieces and 12 competition styles tailored for specific events, the brand confirmed upon the launch of the outfits.

While acknowledging concerns about the outfit displayed on the mannequin, Nike-sponsored pole vaulter Katie Moon highlighted the variety of options available to women athletes, expressing a preference for briefs over shorts.

A representative from USA Track & Field emphasized that athlete preferences were paramount in the collaboration with Nike during the planning phase.

During the launch event in Paris, U.S. middle-distance runner Athing Mu and sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson were among the athletes showcasing Nike's Olympic kits. Notably, Mu wore briefs while Richardson sported a version with shorts.