Paralympic athlete was told her
track shorts were "too short and inappropriate," while members of Norway's women
's national beach handball team were fined for refusing to wear bikini bottoms during a European championship
Olivia Breen, a 24-year-old Paralympic sprinter
and long jumper, said she was left "speechless" after a female official criticized her outfit during the English Championships on Sunday.
“I have been wearing the same style sprint briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in. I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo
. It made me wonder whether a male competitor would be similarly criticized,” wrote Breen, who has cerebral palsy, on Twitter
Olivia Breen, a two-time Paralympic world champion, says she was left "speechless" after being told her sprint briefs were "too revealing." #KayBurleyRead more here: https://t.co/WRtWKDtf8b
pic.twitter.com/njTLDJNte2 — Sky News
(@SkyNews) July 20, 2021
“I recognize that there must be regulations and guidelines in relation to competition kit, but women should not be made to feel self-conscious about what they wear when competing, but rather comfortable and at ease,” Breen added.
“The wellbeing of all participants in athletics is of the utmost importance, and everyone should feel comfortable competing and participating in the sport,” a spokesperson for England
Athletics told The Guardian.
Here's something I wanted to share about something that happened to me today
at my competition @EnglandAthletic pic.twitter.com/QlYfPDmxEV — oliviabreen (@BreenOlivia) July 18, 2021
Meanwhile, the European Handball Federation fined Norway's women's beach handball team 1,500 Euros (approximately $1,780) on Monday for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms during their Beach Handball EURO 2021 match over the weekend, which they lost in a third-place playoff to Spain
“The Disciplinary Commission
at Beach Handball Euro 2021 has dealt with a case of improper clothing,” the federation said in a statement
on its website, adding that “in the bronze medal game against Spain on Sunday, the team of Norway played with shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game.”
The bikini bottoms were described as unflattering and degrading by team members.
Female athletes must wear “bikini bottoms... with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg, with a side width of no more than 10 centimeters,” according to the International Handball Federation.
Male athletes, on the other hand, "must wear shorts" that are "not too baggy, can be longer, but must stay 10 centimeters above the kneecap."
In an Instagram
post, Norway's Handball Federation endorsed the team.
“We are very proud of these girls who are competing in the European Championships in beach handball,” the statement said, according to The Independent. “They raised their voices and told us that enough is enough.”
“We are the Norwegian Handball Federation, and we stand behind you and support you,” it continued, adding that “we will continue to fight to change the international regulations for attire, so that players can play in the clothing they are most comfortable in.”