Friday 30 September 2016

Women’s gymnastics surprising beauty rules

Published 09/08/2016 | 15:11

US gymnast Simone Biles competes in the Floor event during the women's team final Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
US gymnast Simone Biles competes in the Floor event during the women's team final Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
US gymnast Simone Biles celebrates on the podium during the women's team final Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Alexandra Raisman (L) and Gabrielle Douglas (R) of the United States celebrate winning the gold medal during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
US gymnast Simone Biles (C) and her teammates celebrate after winning the women's team final Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Olympic athletes are no stranger to rules and regulations.

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But no other category focuses as much on grooming as gymnastics, particularly the women's divison. We're used to seeing tight hair buns and shiny leotards, but it turns out there are strict rules to adhere to and in some cases, points might even be deducted if you miss one.

"You can’t have weird low cut in the front or anything like that. But beyond the actual like design and the colors, there are no real rules. Pink was my favorite color, so that’s why I wore it," gold medallist Nastia Liukintold PEOPLE.

No jewellery is allowed except for stud earrings as other accessories can get in the way of your routine.

Alexandra Raisman (L) and Gabrielle Douglas (R) of the United States celebrate winning the gold medal during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Alexandra Raisman (L) and Gabrielle Douglas (R) of the United States celebrate winning the gold medal during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team Final on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

As for undergarments, bras surprisingly aren't built in to gymnasts' leotards and most opt for a nude sports bra and briefs. When it comes to manicured nails, neutral tones are best but Nastia said it can depend on "what your head coach likes, and what they don’t like."

But wardrobe is where it is most exciting - where we saw Simone Biles, Gabrille Douglas and co lead Team USA to gold on Tuesday night, dressed in bedazzled American flag leotards, the cut is key.

A flash of your hip bone is too sexy for the judges and despite achieving feats of human strength unknown in any other sport, if you get a little...uncomfortable...you'll have to stay that way.

“You’re not allowed to [pick a wedgie] or else you get deducted. So a lot of people use like sticky spray [called TuffSkin] for your butt so your leotard doesn’t move," she added.

US gymnast Simone Biles (C) and her teammates celebrate after winning the women's team final Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
US gymnast Simone Biles (C) and her teammates celebrate after winning the women's team final Artistic Gymnastics at the Olympic Arena during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

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