Simone Biles and the rest of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team haven’t had the best start to the Tokyo Olympics, but they’re still in it to win it.
Biles leads the all-around competition by 0.5 points after the first qualifiers on Sunday. The gymnasts from Team USA take up three of the top ten slots (Sunisa Lee currently sits in third place, Jade Carey in 10th).
Why Different Leotards at Olympic Trials
Observing these women compete, one thing stands out besides the occasional missteps of the teams. There are a few that are sporting leotards of contrasting hues.
And that’s on purpose. When competing in the preliminary round, Biles, Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Grace McCallum all wore blue leotards, while Carey and MyKayla Skinner wore red.
For those who missed it, Simone Biles and the rest of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team qualified for the Olympic final on Sunday, July 25 by finishing second to Russia. Those who saw the match likely observed that two of the teammates wore red leotards while the rest wore blue.
Two Individual Athletes not Allowed to Participate
Jade Carey and MyKayla Skinner, two individual athletes who were not allowed to participate with the team due to a new Tokyo 2020 rule, wore red to distinguish themselves from the team’s members in the team final.
Carey, who continues to compete for Team USA as an individual, has made it to the finals in both the floor exercise and the vault.
This meant that all of the gymnasts who competed were technically part of Team USA, but the different colours indicated whether they were competing in the team final or as individuals.
When Nadia Comaneci achieved the first ever perfect score of 10 on the uneven bars in 1976, she did so while wearing a simple white leotard with small stripes.
Many changes to the leotard style may be traced back to Martha and Bela Karolyi, who coached Team USA from 1988 to 1996. American gymnasts in the 1990s wore skintight white leotards that flaunted their toned abs.
Official Olympic leotards for this year’s competition are rumoured to cost between $700.00 and $1200.00. All told, it’s expected that gymnasts will spend roughly $12,000 on their own costumes, which includes practise leotards. Thanks for reading our article Why Different Leotards at Olympic Trials.