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‘Would a male competitor be criticised?’ Welsh gold medal winner ‘speechless’ after being told briefs too short

19 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
Picture by Olivia Breen / @BreenOlivia / Twitter

A Welsh Paralympian has questioned whether a male sportsman’s choice of attire would be criticised after being told that her competition briefs were “too short and inappropriate” during an event.

Olivia Breen, who won gold for Wales at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, posted on social media that a volunteer official had commented on her Adidas briefs while she was competing in a long jump event in Bedford.

The athlete, who has cerebral palsy, said that she intended to make an official complaint to UK Athletics.

“I am always grateful for the incredible volunteers who officiate at athletics events,” Breen wrote on Twitter.

“They do an amazing job and make it possible for us to compete. However, tonight I feel disappointed because just as I finished my long jump competition one of the female officials felt it necessary to inform me that my sprint briefs were too short and inappropriate. I was left speechless.

“I have been wearing the same sprint style briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in.

“I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo. It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticised. I hope no other female athletes had similar issues.

“I recognise that there needs to be regulations and guidelines in relation to competition kit but women should not be made to feel self-conscious about what they are wearing when competing but should feel comfortable and at ease.”

Breen won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London for the 4x100m Relay T35-T38.

The 24-year-old also a world championship gold medal in the 4x100m T35-38 event in 2015 and another in the T38 long jump two years later.

She also won gold in the long jump title at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

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Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
4 days ago

Are her “parts” covered? Yes.

Get a grip… we don’t live in the 1920s.

hdavies15
hdavies15
3 days ago

That volunteer official needs a good talking to. She is there to ensure that the competition runs smoothly not to make inappropriate comment about the athlete’s kit. Probably a repressed old pervert !

CapM
CapM
3 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

However if you do an internet search for images for mens 100m and womens 100m you’ll see that the mens ‘shorts’ are always significantly longer and often not far off knee length. The womens ‘shorts’ are more like swim suit bottoms.

I think it’s most likely that the briefs women athletes wear are for the benefit of those watching ‘ old perverts’ included and the increased ££s generated rather than for enhancing the athletic performance of the wearers.

Richard
Richard
3 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Is anything wrong with swim suit bottoms?

CapM
CapM
3 days ago
Reply to  Richard

I imagine that if there wasn’t ‘anything wrong’ the male track and field athletes would be wearing them as well. After all male athletes are just as driven to maximise their performance as female athletes, aren’t they?

Mawkernewek
3 days ago
Reply to  CapM

Look up the Norwegian beach volleyball team, the women’s team want to wear more comfortable shorts, but the dress code for beach volleyball requires the women to wear less, but not the men!

defaid
defaid
3 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Objectionable Karen. I’m faiy sure long kit is available for both sexes but who the hell is Karen to tell anyone what to wear?

Last edited 3 days ago by defaid
CapM
CapM
3 days ago
Reply to  defaid

It would be good to hear from some women athletes to see what they think.

CapM
CapM
3 days ago

I know what the solution is .
The womens races should be in two stages.
One in swimsuits the other in evening dress.
Hell same for the men, one in speedos and one in tuxedos.

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