1. All around gold medalist in the women’s competition, American gymnast Simone Biles, wore a bright pink and silver leotard dotted with silver crystals. Lovely.
2. Meanwhile, Kyla Ross went heavier on the pink, and heavier on the crystals too.
Both are good ideas. I mean, you can’t go quite as crazy as you could with an ice skating costume, say, but still.
3. And also wore a very shiny red/white number. It looks wet.
Competing in the women’s balance beam finals. (She placed second.)
4. Here’s McKayla Maroney in a striking red/silver leotard (the same pattern, in fact, as her teammate Simone’s pink one).
Here competing in the women’s vault qualification rounds.
5. More Maroney closeups.
Why such a close focus? Because everyone wants more photos of her frowning, that’s why.
6. Some daring sheer panels feature in this navy leotard. Shame about the way all the chalk here resembles those horrid ankle socks people wear to the gym, though.
Russia’s Anna Rodionova competing in the women’s balance beam finals.
7. This is just an awesome photo. Cute leotard too, though.
Russia’s Aliya Mustafina competing in the women’s balance beam finals. (Mustafina won gold.)
8. This girl is on fire.
China’s Chunsong Shang competing in the women’s balance beam final.
9. Flames! Flames on the side of my… forearms.
Spanish gymnast Cintia Cabrera Figueroa competing on the uneven bars.
10. And Japan’s gymnasts also went with fiery-patterned leotards. Flames, that is, or lotus flower petals.
Japan’s Ryohei Kato (left) and Kohei Uchimura (right) competing in the men’s horizontal bar finals.
13. And more lotus flowers again. These are particularly pretty because, against the leotard’s base color, it looks like they’re floating on a bright and shiny blue lake.
Canada’s Elisabeth Black competing in the women’s floor exercises final. Despite her expression, everything is going just fine.
14. Wait, this time they’re not lotus flowers. They’re maple leaves! Sparkly, irridescent maple leaves!
Because that’s Canada for you! Here’s Canadian gymnast Victoria Moors competing in the all around women’s finals. Fun-but-not-actually-factual-fact: her hair is actually held in place thanks to maple syrup.
15. OK moving on. Green leotards are always a bold/unexpected choice. Here though, the balance of lime and mossy green hues work very nicely.
Worn by China’s Jinnan Yao of China during the women’s uneven bars final.
16. And, oh my gosh yes it really is, there’s a LIME GREEN SCRUNCHIE cameo. Athletic perfection.
Irish gymnast Nicole Mawhinney of Ireland competing in the women’s balance beam qualifications. Someone needs to make a leotard composed entirely of scrunchies, if not a whole wardrobe’s worth of clothes.
17. This is not an amputee. (But it is a lovely, classic long-sleeved leotard.
It’s Italy’s Vanessa Ferrari during her floor routine. Her lower right leg is… well, somewhere. Possibly in another dimension, because gymnasts are just that flexible.
18. Continuing with a focus on particular limbs/body parts, we’re just here for the biceps. #noshame.
U.S. gymnast Steven Legendre posing proudly after winning a silver medal in the men’s vault finals.
20. More biceps. In fact, we’re taking a brief break from the athletic apparel analysis to appreciate Brandon Wynn.
21. I mean, look at this. I don’t think I have good enough posture to sit like this normally, let alone when hanging from gymnastic rings.
23. Ok yay Brandon.
24. Patriotic color palettes are always a handy leotard trope for folks watching along at home.
Here’s Dutch gymnast Chantysha Netteb competing during the women’s vault finals in a crystalline red, white and blue leotard (those being the colors of the Dutch flag).
25. Of course, Great Britain’s gymnasts also wore red, white and blue leotards. I love the way the sweatpants have those little straps below the feet.
Here’s rising British gymnast/heartthrob Max Whitlock on the pommel horse.
26. Another variation on the Union Jack’s color scheme. It is a real shame that none of the guy gymnasts are brave enough for crystal details on their outfits.
Great Britain’s Ruby Harrold on the uneven bars.
27. If you’re strong enough to hold yourself vertical with one hand but somehow not strong enough to pull off a few pectoral-centric sequins then, well, it’s just not right.
IT’S JUST NOT FAIR. Also this ridiculous feat of athleticism/balance/sorcery comes from China’s Chaopan Lin.
28. Anyway, let’s return to nationalistic leotards.
Colombiab gymnast Jossimar Orlando Calvo hovers over the horizontal bars. Enjoy his stomach.
29. Here, a lovely sky blue shade works nicely with the colors of the Indian flag.
Indian gymnast Abhijit Shinde competing on the rings.
30. And while there’s technically no black on the Spanish flag, this balance of colors is lovely. (Again, minus the white ankle socks.)
Spain’s Fabian Gonzales performs on the rings.
31. Red, yellow and black do all feature on the German flag, but this leotard doesn’t look as fun.
Hence German gymnast Fabian Hambuechen’s “whatevs” expression. I think Fabian shaves his armpits.
32. This beautiful leotard features the South Korean flag, clouds, waves and some octopus tentacles.
Deep sea creatures rarely get their credit in the fashion stakes, so this is nice to see — courtesy of South Korean gymnast Jisoo Park on the balance beam.
33. Artistic shades of China’s flag abound here, also. It’s a wonderfully ornate leotard. With a bonus scrunchie!
Chinese gymnast Chunsong Shang of China competing in the women’s high bars final.
Another crazy amazingly flexible photo.
35. In other gymnasts photographed while upside down, these two Brits weren’t so invested in patriotic leotards. They look very pretty, but vaguely Greek.
Great Britain’s Becky Downie (left) and Rebecca Tunney (right) on the uneven bars and balance beam finals respectively.
36. Whereas this is the actual Grecian leotard. Also very nice and spirally.
The sky blue sleeve hems are a nice touch; Evangelia Plyta on the uneven bars.
37. And here’s a monochromatic leotard that, somehow, isn’t boring. A shiny shade of blue is always worthwhile.
Iceland’s Tinna Óðinsdóttir competes in the women’s balance beam qualifications.
38. Neither this photo or the leotard pictured can be denied.
China’s Huang Huidan competing in the women’s uneven bars final.
39. More in that vein: this is just a beautiful, atmospheric photo.
Canadian gymnast Kenneth Ikeda, who looks great all soft-lit and serious.
40. And then there’s Italian gymnast Carlotta Ferlito — here in a bold, shimmery teal, purple and silver combo.
41. Also here in a nice, crystal-embellished navy blue and pink-striped leotard.
Unfortunately, Carlotta loses all her style points thanks to some racist comments made following the competition’s conclusion.
She finished in fifth place in the women’s beam competition finals; her fellow Italian gymnast Vanessa Ferrari placed fourth. Speaking to a reporter afterwards, she suggested they “would paint their skin black to win” future competitions — likely a racially-charged reference to U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, who placed third on the beam and in first place overall.
And racism is never a good look.