Women are dominating this year's Olympics as for the first time ever, at least one woman from each competing country will participate at the London games.
With women also comes the topic of fashion. In a press conference on Wednesday, the Olympic beach volleyball players discussed issues regarding their notoriously skimpy uniforms, made for the women but not the men. The question that triggered action was: If all professional volleyball players are wearing bikinis, why aren't the men wearing Speedos?
2008 medalist Todd Rogers posed a double standard but with reason, "I think [men wearing Speedos] would [draw attention to the game], but I don't think it would be a positive effect," he said, according to ESPN. He then continued to frankly explain the difference between bikini clad women and men in speedos, "It just doesn't look as beautiful. The reality is men are driven more by their vision and women are not, so I just don't think it would help. I've practiced in Brazil where the Brazilians are wearing Speedos and it just doesn't look good. To see a guy's package is just not the same."
When asked if the men get jealous of all the attention their female counterparts get during the game, player Phil Dalhausser answered, "I'm OK with this. They're way prettier than us."
Player April Ross told the press, "We argue for [shirtless] all the time... Men have such amazing bodies, too. They shouldn't be wearing tank tops. Give them shorts and make them go without a shirt."
Female players against the bikini uniforms are also taking into precaution the forecasted chilly weather. It's expected to be high 60s and rainy, not exactly bikini weather, especially for the night games. "We need it to keep our muscles warm," said Australian player Tamsin Hinchley.
But do the sexy uniforms make beach volleyball the much loved sport? Many of the athletes, male and female, have admit that the bikinis are a main reason most people watch the game. British star Denise Johns told the Sunday Times, "The people who own the sport [the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball] want it to be sexy... I used to play in shorts and a T-shirt and was reluctant to change. But if it gets volleyball attention, so be it." Ross said, "[The uniform] draws them in. Once they see the athleticism of the sport, they're hooked on it."
For the first time, female competitors now have the option of wearing shorts and sleeved tops. The new rules also cater to players with specific cultural beliefs. But of course, don't expect the U.S. to inflect to the new rules any time soon. "We're not uncomfortable in our bikinis. When you grow up in Southern California, that's what you wear in the summertime. This is the most comfortable thing for us to wear," said Jennifer Kessy of the U.S.team.
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