Two months ago, at the European Championships, a German gymnast was talked about, not for her performances but because she opted for a full suit.

The athlete wanted to point out the discomfort that the leotard represents for a young girl going through puberty. High cut, sexualization … the voices begin to rise against this garment.

Refuse to expose your body

Some gymnasts do not necessarily want to expose this body to the eyes of others. Last April, the German Sarah Voss competed arms and legs covered at the European Championships.

The athlete going through puberty no longer feels comfortable in a leotard and lets it know. It’s an earthquake in the very codified world of the gym and the young generation is happy about it.

Carolann Heduit, French Elite champion, 17 years old: “It shows that there is an evolution in gymnastics, it is good news, and that way everyone will be able to feel comfortable in front of the cameras, in front of the public”.

Youna Dufournet, former gymnast, would have liked to have the choice to show her body or not. The internationally renowned French gymnast retired in 2016. At the time, she had no say in the sequined, showy outfits, some too much …

Replace the leotard with a jumpsuit

As Youna’s body transforms at puberty, the clothing becomes more and more uncomfortable. She gains weight, volume in the hips and chest. The leotard exhibits its new forms for all to see.

Youna Dufournet: “I gained 10kg in 2 months just with the rules, having the same training rhythm. It happens all of a sudden, it’s the descent into hell. The look on us is very hard, because when I enter the room I no longer accept myself in a leotard.

The coaches do not necessarily have the right words, do not hesitate to tell us that we are too fat and if we have the misfortune of competing, the judges murder us in terms of marks and it shows. ”

Psychic wounds

To accept her new body, Youna is helped by a psychologist, specialized in the follow-up of high level sportsmen.

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Miriem Salmi, psychologist: “The body becomes threatening for the athlete’s career. If you listen to gymnasts and when they talk to you about it, you feel that it is something extremely hard, extremely restrictive and which creates psychic injuries. “.

The full suit is now authorized by the International Gymnastics Federation. For the Olympic Games, each team will decide on its outfit, the French have made their choice: they will perform in leotards.