At the risk of bearing too close a resemblance to an old man yelling at a cloud, I would say this seems like a necessary rule, for obvious reasons. Jewelry gets caught on things, it bumps against your body and distracts you, it can come off and go missing in the gym. As the New York Times documented this week, international gymnastics is experiencing something of a sparkle arms race, with leotards becoming increasingly crowded with crystals.
Men's Artistic Gymnastics
In , the Times noted, Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin won her medal in a leotard that featured crystals. Meyers agrees that a desire to compensate for athleticism with sparkling displays of femininity may explain the Swarovski surge. All the same, the dramatically increased difficulty of the sport has coincided with a noticeable shift in the gendered self-presentation of gymnasts, and the two would appear to be connected.
Recent changes aside, there are other reasons why gymnastics appeals so widely that have less to do with the sport itself and more to do with cultural expectations of girls and women.
My Gymnastics Story - Journey Into Gymnastics
There are many reasons to love gymnastics. For me, the love is rooted in memories of my own gymnastics career, and in my awe at the strength, tenacity and fearlessness of little girls, whether or not they grow up to be Olympic champions.
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