Figure Skating Costume Controversies
The 2014 Winter OIympics are starting in less than a month, and those of us at BeWeave It headquarters couldn’t be more excited. We can’t wait to see what new snowboard tricks Shawn White dreams up this year, and are giddy at the prospect of watching hours of curling on chilly winter nights, but most of all we’re looking forward to the fantastic women’s figure skating costumes.
While many of today's costumes could be considered high fashion, it wasn't always this way. Until the 1920’s, women figure skaters wore costumes similar to their street clothing. While Sonja Henie is credited as the first famous skater to wear short skirts, it was actually Herma Szabo who first wore an above-the-knee skirt while skating in the 1924 Olympics. Shorter skirts allowed for my freedom of movement and allowed the skaters to do more elaborate tricks.
Over the years the hemlines became shorter, and the costumes more risqué until things came to a head at the 1988 Olympics. Skaters Debi Thomas and Surya Bonaly both sported tight-fitting unitards, and Katerina Witt wore a showgirl outfit complete with feathers—and no skirt. This led to the International Skater’s Union to create a dresscode requiring women to wear skirts that “covered the hips and posterior.”