Ludicrous leotards!I know that there are many blog posts out there about horrible leotards, but with the Olympics fast approaching I thought I would take a look back at some of the sheer horrors and try to work out what we can expect to see this summer.
Although there are many atrocities out there, I have limited myself for this post to looking at team leotards. After looking through so many, I find it hard to believe that somebody decided to dress their entire team in some of these strange leotards. It also seems to make it worse when you see a whole group of them together!
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
In my mind, there were two team leotards at the Beijing Olympics that were rather strange. The first one was the French team leotard:
The shininess is bad in itself, but there is also the strange blue collar round the neck. I found it difficult to find a good photo of this leotard (no pun intended) but it just did not seem to do justice to any of the girls.
The other weird leo of 2008 was Brazil's team leotard:
It really did not seem to make any sense whatsoever and the pattern is just so random.
Although this is a relatively plain leotard I have never been a big fan of solid blocks of colour with a high neck. The white stripes an half sleeves seem to make it look really out of proportion.
Yet another interesting leotard for the French team. They really seem to like the shiny material and although I prefer this one to the 2008 leotard there is something about it that just seems wrong. I think it might be partly to do with the rather strange collar again.
I am finding it very hard to find anything nice to say about this leotard. Firstly is the fact that it is a sleeveless leotard. I know that some countries choose to compete in these, but for a team final at the Olympics I really believe it should be a long sleeved competition leotard. Also, it just seems really busy and the colours are very odd. It is one of those leotards that is likely to distract you from what could be a good routine.
It is not just the Olympic Games that sees the teams coming out dressed strangely. Over the years there have been many leotards that have just begged the question "why?"
In 2011 we saw this leotard from Japan:
Again, it was hard to find a decent picture of this leotard and it is yet another one that just seems to have too much going on. Although the colours are quite simple, the swirls make it almost nauseating.
2011 was also the year that the Australian team competed in this leotard:
Why? Why would anyone choose to put bright orange and bright pink together in the same leotard? And why would Australia choose these colours which bear no relation to the country they are representing?
The 2010 world championships saw yet another strange leotard from Japan:
There is the same simple colour scheme again, but this time with a very strange pattern. I am not quite sure if there is any thought or logic behind the design but I for one cannot work it out if there is.
The team finals in 2007 saw this leotard from Russia:
It has got the same bold colours and high neck that we saw in the 2004 Olympics that seems to make even the most elegant of gymnasts seem short and stocky.
There was also this quite inexplicable leotard from France:
I have never been a particularly big fan of mesh on leotards and in this case I feel I am justified. There is no need to send your team of gymnasts to compete in a leotard that looks as if it is slashed almost to the waist. A little bit of mesh can be fine but it has to be tasteful.
Looking back to 2006, we were treated to this leotard from the Ukrainian team:
Not only do we have an excess of mesh again, there is also the strange white icicle around the neck. i personally found this leotard very distracting.
2006 also gave us this Romanian leotard:
I probably would not have minded this leotard quite as much if it was not for the blue stripes that come down from the shoulder and link to the bottom of the leotard. I felt that it reminded me of someone wearing braces or lederhosen. Not really the look you want for your team of gymnasts!
But I have saved the best (or worst should I say) for last - 2006 saw the Spanish team competing in this leotard:
This leotard is wrong on so many levels I am not quite sure where to start. I am fairly sure that the Spanish girls gave some lovely performances in the 2006 team final, but I honestly could not tell you about any of them as I was so distracted by the neon colours. It is hard to say if I would have liked the leotard more if it was in different colours or if I would have liked the colours more they were on a different leotard, but I think not. I really do believe that this is one of the worst leotards I have ever seen in competition!
There are of course many more weird and wonderful leotards out there to be looked at. Some of the gymnasts' individual choices are equally inexplicable but I will leave those for another day.
So what about 2012? Already there is some speculation about what the gymnasts will be wearing and indeed some team leotards have already been revealed. Although there will be plenty of lovely leotards out there as always, I must admit to being slightly worried about what some of the teams will be wearing. Out of the twelve teams who have qualified, six of them have already shown us some dubious leotards in the past: Australia (2011), Brazil (2008), France (2008, 2007, 2004), Japan (2011, 2010), Romania (2006) and Russia (2007, 2004). I can only hope that they have learnt their lesson and none of the other six let us down!