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Team USA Gymnastics Leotards Have 10,000 Crystals Each

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Team USA Gymnastics Leotards Have 10,000 Crystals Each


Team USA is all about that bling.

When the U.S. gymnastics team hits the big stage in Paris at the end of July for the 2024 Olympics, they will do so in the most decked-out leotards this country has ever seen.

Literally.

The leotards are covered in thousands of Swarovski crystals — one of which has over 10,000. The women’s team (Jade Carey, Sunisa Lee, Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles and Hezly Rivera) has eight leotards to take with them to Paris, and while they wear the same leotard during the team competition, they have their pick for what to wear during the other events.

Luminous Legacy and Star-Spangled Shine leotards.

GK Elite Sportswear


The Luminous Legacy leotard, in particular, has more than 10,000 crystals, according to The New York Times, on a dark blue and black leotard. “The more crystals, the more impact, the more the leotards are talked about,” said Jeanne Diaz, the design director of GK Elite, to the outlet.

“They’re really evening-wear looks,” she added of this year’s leotards, which the brand has been working on for the past two years. “We wanted to lean into that hard for Paris, the fashion capital of the world. So we utilized a lot of high fashion elements, looked at a lot of corsetry, at Art Nouveau architecture, at old Hollywood glamour of the 1920s.”

GK Elite also used pearls for the first time on leotards this year, as a nod to Paris and its fashion.

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Olympics leotards.

GK Elite Sportswear


But despite how showy the leotards are, they still must remain functional. “First and foremost, it is a performance garment; We have to think about their comfort and movement,” Diaz told Vogue. “It moves with the body, so that their mind isn’t on what they’re wearing.”

The company used four-way stretch fabric to ensure that the gymnasts can move easily in the garments — and that the leotards won’t shift while the gymnasts are hard at work trying to win gold medals. GK Elite also used more matte fabrics than in years past, as that has become more of a trend than the shiny fabrics of yesteryear.

Freedom’s Grace leotard.

GK Elite Sportswear


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While not every leotard has 10,000 crystals, they all have a lot — which is truly saying something, considering GK Elite thought that it had maxed out its crystal capacity in 2016 … and again in 2020. According to The New York Times, the 2016 leotards had 5,000 crystals, and in 2020, they had just over 6,000. Not only do this year’s have thousands more, but the pearls had another touch of class.

In fact, the white Freedom’s Grace leotard has almost 1,000 pearls — per leotard — that had to be hand-placed.

And yes, Diaz admitted to The New York Times that the leotards do weigh about a pound because of all the crystals, but she said that the gymnasts love the crystals, so they’ll keep using them (and including as many as they can).

“I hope the athletes feel confident and proud to represent Team USA,” she told Vogue. “The leotards were meant to evoke that feeling of when an athlete wins a medal and receive an American flag and drape it around themselves; I hope that viewers and the athletes feel that emotion.”



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