Nike notes options for track athletes amid uniform backlash

Nike said the U.S. women's track and field Olympians will have multiple uniform options available for this summer's Paris Games after some athletes bashed the kit as needlessly revealing and sexist.

Images made public Thursday of the women's kit on a mannequin, showing a very high-cut panty line, triggered criticism from several athletes for what they saw as a decision to prioritize skimpiness over function.

"They are absolutely not made for performance," U.S. steeplechaser Colleen Quigley said in a message to Reuters.

Nike said in an email to Reuters that it was offering athletes uniform options with both a brief and a short for this Olympics, whereas it offered only the brief for the Tokyo Games. Nike's track and field kits for men and women include nearly 50 apparel pieces and 12 competition styles for specific events, the brand said when launching the outfits.

"Athlete options and choices were the driving force for USATF in the planning process with Nike," a spokesperson for USA Track & Field said.

U.S. middle-distance runner Athing Mu and sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson were among the athletes modeling Nike's Olympic kits at the launch show in Paris this week. While Mu wore briefs, Richardson wore a version of the outfit with shorts.

Nike-sponsored pole vaulter Katie Moon, in a post on X, said the kit shown on the mannequin was "concerning" but added that athletes are given many options on what to wear and that she prefers briefs to shorts.

Debate has raged for years over more revealing outfits for women Olympians in disciplines from beach volleyball to gymnastics, and some rules on competition wear are changing.

Germany's women's gymnastics team wore full-length bodysuits at the Tokyo Olympics in what they said was a stand against sexualization in the sport. Gymnastics New Zealand last week updated its attire rules to allow women and girls to wear shorts or leggings over their leotards.

Quigley said Nike should offer athletes who make the team custom tailoring to ensure the kit fits perfectly.

"Our bodies are all different, and it seems silly to expect us to compete at the highest level of our sport without a properly fit uniform," she said.

Nike told Reuters it will have tailors available for Olympic and Paralympic athletes this year.