Nike Responds to Criticism Over 2024 Olympic Uniforms

Nike is responding to criticism and allegations of sexism over the company’s uniforms for Team USA’s Track and Field athletes ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.

The Olympics take place in Paris this summer, beginning on July 26.

Images of the kit reveal one option for women is a high-cut, one-piece uniform. The men’s kit, however, seems to feature longer spandex shorts and a full-coverage tank top.

The outfits quickly garnered reactions from current and former athletes across the sport.

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“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,” former U.S. Champion runner Lauren Fleshman wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “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.”

Another former U.S. Olympian, Tara Davis-Woodhall, who is aiming to earn a spot in the 2024 games for Team USA, commented on an Instagram post by Citius Mag saying that her “hoo haa is gonna be out.

“This mannequin is standing still, and everything’s showing… imagine MID FLIGHT,” wrote US Paralympian Jaleen Roberts.

However, VP of apparel innovation at Nike, Janett Nichol, explained to CBS that the uniforms were made using technology at the Nike Sports Research Lab in Oregon to help create garments that would allow the athletes to perform at their optimum level.

“On the apparel side, why it’s a game-changer for us is because we’ve now been able to take athlete insights, along with data, and use that algorithm to create something that allows us to get to a level of specificity, fidelity, and accuracy that we’ve never been able to do before,” Nichol told the outlet.

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Nike clarified via email to Reuters that female U.S. Track & Field athletes were given the option to wear the unitard in a brief or short style and that the full set for both men and women includes upwards of 50 different pieces and 12 different styles depending on the specific event being participated in.

Nike did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur‘s request for comment.

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