March 30, 2012

Spiking the …. Uniform? Women's Olympic Volleyball Getting "More Flexible"

Thanks International Volleyball Federation!  It’s really nice to know that Olympic athletes no longer have to dress like Vegas mud wrestlers to play beach volleyball.  Quite a relief  that women from countries with religious or cultural objections (see Rwandans below) can choose to expose less as opposed to more of their bodies.

But when you look at the uniforms now accepted by the IVF, you really have to wonder how they got to the current uniforms to begin with and why women play a sport in costumes clearly aimed at men.

All kinds of men:

Bush-Beachvolleyball.jpg (490×571)

The current uniforms will still be used by teams choosing to use them but, according to IVF spokesman Richard Baker, “many of these countries have religious and cultural requirements, so the uniform needed to be more flexible.” And while we try desperately to avoid jokes about flexibility or lack thereof (particularly in the fan base), it’s impossible to ignore the fact that men’s beach volleyball uniforms have always been a little more expansive.

— Karen Hull

(Credits: Top photo: EPA/GEORGIOS KEFALAS  Caption: Brazil’s Juliana gives a sign, during the pool round match between Brazil’s Juliana Felisberta Silva and Larissa Franca against Latvia’s Inguna Minusa and Inese Jursone, at the FIVB Beachvolleyball World Championships in Gstaad, Switzerland on Wednesday, July 25, 2007. US Women: FIVB caption: Misty May-Treanor leaps into Kerri Walsh’s arms after the final point. Rwandan Women: CAVB Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. Bush/US Olympic Team: Mandel Ngan/Getty. Bottom photo: Bob Rosato caption: Phil Dalhausser (USA), serves against Brazil during the mens beach volleyball gold medal match at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground during the Beijing Summer Olympic Games.)

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Karen Donley
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