Figure Skating’s Faux-Nudity

Josh Levin:

This is the enduring image of the Sochi Games:

Russia’s Adelina Sotnikova with her palms facing the ceiling, imploring the crowd to cheer her on during the women’s free skate. The home fans complied, helping to lift Sotnikova to a controversial victory over South Korea’s Yuna Kim. Take a closer look at that iconic photo, and you’ll see something else besides Sotnikova’s sly grin. The 17-year-old gold medalist is wearing flesh-colored fabric in three different places: on her upper torso, her hands, and her legs.

Sotnikova

The International Skating Union requires that costumes “be modest, dignified, and appropriate for athletic competition” and “not give the effect of excessive nudity.” Griffies uses a stretchy, translucent fabric called nude mesh; he prefers it to the alternative, nude lycra, because it allows you to see a skater’s muscle tone. …

What about the nude gloves that Sotnikova was wearing? Griffies, who was a competitive figure skater before he moved into fashion, explains that most triple-toe-loopers wear gloves in practice to stay warm, as well as to prevent cuts and scrapes (which can arise from falling on the ice or grabbing your blade during a spin). It feels strange to compete without them, Griffies says, so many skaters go with flesh-colored gloves, which make them feel comfortable but don’t distract the judges. …

Sotnikova completed her flesh-colored look with a set of over-the-boot tights. Griffies hates that look—he prefers the classic feel of a bright white skate. (So does Gracie Gold.) Sotnikova and other skaters wear those “OTB tights” for a bunch of reasons: because they supposedly make their legs look longer …

Nude Mesh vs. Nude Lycra: Figure Skating’s Faux-Nudity Secrets Revealed

Hate it. :-(

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coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

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