‘Would a male competitor be criticised?’ Welsh gold medal winner ‘speechless’ after being told briefs too short
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.
Thank you everyone for all your lovely supportive messages and I’m sorry to hear that it has happened to so many other people. Some people have asked what I was competing in yesterday so here is a picture.
I don’t think it is “ objectionable” within the UKA regulations pic.twitter.com/rnTPoTxGAz
— oliviabreen (@BreenOlivia) July 19, 2021
“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.