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41 Of The Best, Most Extravagant Leotards From The 2013 World Gymnastics Championships

This post contains sequins and crystals, biceps, more biceps and an unfortunate instance of racism. Let's get totally leotarded!

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2. Meanwhile, Kyla Ross went heavier on the pink, and heavier on the crystals too.

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Both are good ideas. I mean, you can't go quite as crazy as you could with an ice skating costume, say, but still.


4. Here's McKayla Maroney in a striking red/silver leotard (the same pattern, in fact, as her teammate Simone's pink one).

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.


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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U.S. gymnast Steven Legendre posing proudly after winning a silver medal in the men's vault finals.


24. Patriotic color palettes are always a handy leotard trope for folks watching along at home.

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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.

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.

30. And while there's technically no black on the Spanish flag, this balance of colors is lovely. (Again, minus the white ankle socks.)

31. Red, yellow and black do all feature on the German flag, but this leotard doesn't look as fun.

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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.

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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.

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.

37. And here's a monochromatic leotard that, somehow, isn't boring. A shiny shade of blue is always worthwhile.

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Iceland's Tinna Óðinsdóttir competes in the women's balance beam qualifications.

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.


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