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!
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.
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).
5. More Maroney closeups.
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.
7. This is just an awesome photo. Cute leotard too, though.
8. This girl is on fire.
9. Flames! Flames on the side of my... forearms.
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.
11. More flaming lotus flowers.
Mai Murakami competing in the floor exercises final.
12. Even more lotus flowers.
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.
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.
16. And, oh my gosh yes it really is, there's a LIME GREEN SCRUNCHIE cameo. Athletic perfection.
17. This is not an amputee. (But it is a lovely, classic long-sleeved leotard.
18. Continuing with a focus on particular limbs/body parts, we're just here for the biceps. #noshame.
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.
22. Brandon won a bronze medal, but he's first place... in my heart.
23. Ok yay Brandon.
24. Patriotic color palettes are always a handy leotard trope for folks watching along at home.
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.
28. Anyway, let's return to nationalistic leotards.
29. Here, a lovely sky blue shade works nicely with the colors of the Indian flag.
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.
32. This beautiful leotard features the South Korean flag, clouds, waves and some octopus tentacles.
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.
34. And this is crazy amazingly floppy hair.
Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland on the high bars.
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.
37. And here's a monochromatic leotard that, somehow, isn't boring. A shiny shade of blue is always worthwhile.
38. Neither this photo or the leotard pictured can be denied.
39. More in that vein: this is just a beautiful, atmospheric photo.
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.