Despite a rough start to the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles and the rest of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team are determined to do well.
Why are Two US Gymnasts in Red
Following the first round of qualifying on Sunday, Biles leads the all-around competition by.5 points. The gymnasts from Team USA take up three of the top ten slots (Sunisa Lee currently sits in third place, Jade Carey in 10th).
When observing these women compete, one thing stands out in addition to the obvious mistakes made by some of the teams. It appears that some of the dancers are donning leotards of varying hues. So doing is on purpose. Biles, Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum all wore blue leotards during the qualification round, while Carey and MyKayla Skinner wore red.
The old adage goes, “clothes don’t make the man,” and although that’s certainly true, if someone achieves a lot of success while wearing a certain outfit, that outfit becomes iconic.
Like Steve Jobs in jeans and a black turtleneck, or Amelia Earhart with her brown bomber jacket and dishevelled short hair, the sight of a Chicago Bulls jersey from the 1990s evokes strong emotions in viewers.
Athletes that achieve greatness at the Summer Olympics by giving mind-blowing performances and bringing home gold naturally have their costumes worn while creating history forever enshrined.
Then Why are the Gymnasts on Team USA not all Wearing the Same Leotard? Isn’t that the Opposite of What We Mean When we Say “Uniform”?
The United States gymnastics team’s leotards are a contrasting shade of blue to signify the separation between individual and team events at the Olympics. All-individual gymnasts wear red leotards, whereas team and group gymnasts wear blue.
Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner, two individual athletes who were not allowed to compete with the team due to a new rule for Tokyo 2020, wore red to distinguish themselves from the team’s members in the team final.
Carey, who is still competing for Team USA but does so as an individual, has made it to the finals in both the floor exercise and the vault.
So, even though all of the gymnasts were members of Team USA and competing together, the different colours indicated who was competing in the team final and who was competing as an individual.
Audiences at the Tokyo Olympics observed something unusual about the U.S. gymnastics team’s qualifying routines. A select few gymnasts sported one colour of leotard, while the rest sported another. Carey and MyKayla Skinner donned red leotards, while Simone Biles, Gabby Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum used blue ones.
Some Top US Gymnasts
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Simone Biles, the most well-known gymnast on the American team, was heavily favoured to win gold. The world’s greatest gymnast Biles, however, had to withdraw from the competition due to mental health concerns.
Until this summer, only males had successfully executed the Yurchenko double pike vault at the Olympics, thus Biles made headlines when she did it. Biles did not compete in the all-around or any of the other individual events, but she did compete and win bronze on the balancing beam.
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One of the two team members who competes in individual events rather than in team competitions is Skinner. She has some Olympic experience under her belt, having served as a reserve at the 2016 Rio Games.
Unfortunately for Skinner, she never even made it into the top two in any of the qualifying events, so her Olympic dreams were dashed. Biles’s withdrawal from vault opened the door for Skinner to compete, and she ended up taking silver.
The gymnastics team’s clothes have generated more controversy in Tokyo than at any previous Olympics. Gymnasts have always competed in bikini-cut leotards.
However, in order to protest the sexualization of women in gymnastics, the German team donned ankle-length unitards for Sunday’s qualifying round. Thanks for reading our article Why are Two US Gymnasts in Red.