Gymnastics: Leotards of Olympics Past

Last week NBC Olympics was kind enough to give a visual history of leotards of Olympics past.  As tends to be the case, NBC Olympics and I have differing views on Olympic spandex.

Sydney, 2000
For being from 2000, these look INCREDIBLY retro (not to mention the photo quality makes it look like 1962).  I'm not sure if this is retro in a good way, or a bad way.  I'm just not overly impressed and think we can do better.

Los Angeles, 1984

NBC Olympics was hating on these, but I am SO into this leotard.  I think the bias flag is very flattering on the butt, and the visual interest on the front is stellar.  I don't blame them for the high-cut leg, this was 1984 after all.  A precedent had been set.

Seoul, 1988
Ugh, SO BORING.  No wonder the US only took home one medal (bronze, balance beam) this year.  The judges probably zoned out during all the routines because there was nothing awesome to focus on.

Athens, 2004
I agree here with NBC Olympics that this leotard looks cheap.  It's a shame, because I think the cut-out detail at the neck (red) is quite cool.  Maybe we can loop back to that idea sometime.

Atlanta, 1996
Fantastic.  I really don't think I need to say any more.

Beijing, 2008
Competition leo:
Best use of solid red I've seen.  I particularly like how the spelling of USA on the left shoulder blends into the overall design.

Team qualifications:
WTF?  Is that even blue?  Since when is gold in the flag?  I understand wishful thinking, but its a surprise we got anywhere after showing up in these hot messes.

In other news, while trying to figure out what Olympics the Athens leotard came from, I stumbled across this site, which is similar to my own yet focusing SOLELY on leotards.  Sadly it seems it has not been updated since 2009 (has anyone used LiveJournal since then?).

Lastly I leave you with future US Olympic hopeful, Suri Cruise, and a link to one of my favorite blogs.

Athlete photos:
Suri photo:


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