Nike Ripped for Women’s Olympic Uniforms: ‘My Hoo Haa Is Gonna Be Out’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo by Citius Mag
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo by Citius Mag

When Team U.S.A.’s track & field athletes line up at the Paris Olympics this summer, you might wonder whether some of them are auditioning for a Baywatch reboot.

On Thursday, Nike revealed the first look at the kits that U.S. track and field athletes will wear in Paris. And while the men’s design looks pretty standard, the women’s one-piece speed suit features a surprisingly high-cut bikini line that Instagram commenters immediately began ripping into.

“There’s no way a female runner had any say in that design,” one person speculated, while another quipped, “I hope usatf is paying for the bikini waxes.” Another commenter wondered, “If the labia are hanging out on a still mannequin, what do we expect to happen to a moving person?”

Even professional runners and Olympic hopefuls are weighing in on the design. Long jump star Tara Davis-Woodhall, a favorite to make this year’s Olympic team, commented, “wait my hoo haa is gonna be out.” Colleen Quigley, a pro steeplechase athlete and former Olympian, wrote, “I mean I still wanna make the team but…. 😢.” And pro trail runner Grayson Murphy admitted, “That gusset is giving me anxiety. 😅”

Lauren Fleshman, a retired U.S. world champion runner, had some harsher criticism to share. In an Instagram post, Fleshman wrote, “I’m sorry, but show me one WNBA or NWSL team who would enthusiastically support this kit. This is for Olympic Track and Field. Professional athletes should be able to compete without dedicating brain space to constant pube vigilance or the mental gymnastics of having every vulnerable piece of your body on display. 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.”

She added, “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. ... Stop making it harder for half the population @nike @teamusa @usatf.”

Nike, meanwhile, seems to see no flaw in its designs. Janett Nichol, vice president of apparel innovation at Nike, told CBS Sports that the company brought athletes in to test out its uniforms so they could “perform at the highest level.”

“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 said.

The Daily Beast has reached out to Nike for comment.

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