10 Incredible Facts About the US Olympic Leotards

10 Incredible Facts About the US Olympic Leotards

The USA Olympic gymnastics team is one of the best in the world. But their leotards also have an amazing story. Here are 10 facts to know about their leotards!


The United States women's gymnastics team received the highest ratings in 11 years during the championship round. So many heroic stories have happened throughout the years on the gymnastics mat. 

The outfits they wear are iconic and have graced Wheaties boxes and newspaper front pages throughout the years. There is an art to the leotard that should be studied and admired on this level of competition. 

Read on to learn more about Olympic leotards and what goes into making them and showing them off on the world stage. 

1. Olympic Leotards Cost More Than $1,000 Each

First things first, you should recognize that some serious money goes into each leotard that is worn. In fact, the team that competed at the most recent Rio summer games wore leotards that cost upwards of $1,200 each. 

Women's gymnastics happens to be one of the most popular Olympic sports worldwide, due in large part to the success and prestige of the United States team. 

With the news that Simone Biles is gearing up a return for Tokyo, it's clear that they will keep bringing in sponsorship dollars and acclaim.

She's largely heralded as the greatest ever, and elevating the sport means that sponsors will keep putting money and detail into the outfits. 

2. The Gymnasts Get Multiple Outfits for the Olympic Games

Not only does each outfit cost about a grand—each woman gets several different leotards. 

The competition portion of the gymnastics games lasts for four days, yet each competitor gets eight different leotards. It's a huge investment into the team, which exemplifies how rare of an honor it is to compete at that level. 

3. They Include Beautiful Crystals 

The beautifully designed crystals account for much of the high price of these leotards. 

These outfits are made with more than 5,000 Swarovski crystals, which are some of the most brilliant and sought after crystals in the world. They are patterned into custom designs that sparkle under the lights when each gymnast competes. 

4. The Leotards Are Produced By Big-Name Manufacturers

Women's gymnastics is supported by large corporations in the same way that the men's basketball team uniforms are sponsored by big-name NBA-backed companies. Under Armour and GK Elite work side by side to create the leotards that the women wear.  

Sponsors also outfit them with several training leotards and warmup outfits to wear leading up to and during the Olympic games. 

5. Sleeves Are Fitting for the Occasion 

If you follow gymnastics, you'll notice that competitors can choose between sleeves and sleeveless outfits. While sleeveless leotards are common, sleeves are the norm for Olympic competition. 

It adds a bit of formality to the occasion, similar to an evening gown. While women don sleeves during the Olympics as part of the norm, wearing pants borders on frowned upon. 

The leotards are sleek, elegant, custom-made, and modern, but old-school traditions still apply. 

6. Each Gymnast Has Her Leotard Custom Made to Her Figure

One thing you'll notice about any given gymnastics team is that each competitor has a very unique skillset and build. 

Simone Biles is about 4'9 and has a compact body with muscular arms. Aly Raisman is about 5 inches taller and outweighs Biles by more than 10 pounds. 

They have different dimensions and use their bodies in different ways in competition, so it's only right that they would wear very different leotards.

Each leotard is custom made for each women's build so that she can compete at the highest level and feel comfortable.

There are several differences in each leotard even though the casual observer can watch an entire competition and mistakenly think that everyone is wearing the same.

The subtleties in the stripes, swirls, and patterns are so sophisticated, which is why the best designers in the world work on these leotards. 

7. Their Outfits Are Compression Fitted

There's spandex, and then there are the leotards that the Olympic team wears. These are compression fitted, which is the highest level of tight form-fitting competition outfits. 

This allows them to focus on their routines without worrying about any part of the leotard slipping or not supporting them. That's incredibly important since a mishap with the uniform can lead to points taken away. 

8. The Designers Take Two Years to Make Them

A lot of craftsmanship and artistry goes into making Olympic leotards. In fact, the creators take more than two years to put them together. 

Several prototypes are made before it is finally sent off to create the final product. 

9. They Get Multiple Fittings to Get It Just Right

Throughout the course of crafting these leotards, the gymnasts go through at least three fittings. This is about as often as a woman gets fitted and refitted for her wedding gown. 

Getting these multiple fittings helps them get it just right so that nothing feels off when they're on the mainstage. The designers frequently check in with them throughout the years and at competitions leading up to the Olympic games in order to take new measurements. 

10. Fans Can Buy Replica Collections After Each Olympic Games

Finally, it's important to know that fans can get in on the action as well. In the same way that basketball fans can buy jerseys, gymnastics fans can purchase replica collection leotards. 

They are made to match the ones the gymnasts actually wear, but won't have the same quality of materials in order to keep the prices affordable. 

Keep Doing Your Leotard Research

These points show exactly what kind of work goes into Olympic leotards. Considering this level of detail should inspire you if you have a special gymnast in your life. 

Buying leotards will be a little more exciting after you've done some research. We'd be happy to help you out with anything you need. 

Reach out to learn more about our story and to buy a great leotard today. 

Read more
What Should Your Child Wear to Gymnastics Class? Your Guide to Gymnastics Attire

What Should Your Child Wear to Gymnastics Class? Your Guide to Gymnastics Attire

Your Guide to Gymnastics Attire 

Is your child just starting gymnastics? If so, you should know about gymnastics attire. Here's what to wear to gymnastics class and information about leotards.

Having your child attend gymnastics class is a fantastic way to introduce them to a competitive sport and teach them discipline. In fact, it can even play a role in their psychological development.

For first-timers, though, it's not always obvious exactly what they should be wearing to class.

Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let's take a look at everything you need to know about gymnastics attire.

How Old Are They?

Your child’s age will directly impact what type of clothing is appropriate for them during gymnastics practice. So, you want to make sure that you get them the right attire before they start attending.

Having the wrong type of clothing may result in a less enjoyable experience for them, which can lead to an eventual disinterest in gymnastics that stems from discomfort.

Let’s explore the most suitable outfits for each age group.


In general, toddlers who are enrolling in a gymnastics program will be best suited to wearing a unitard, which is a combination of shorts and a traditional leotard. This will notably increase their level of comfort if they are still wearing diapers.

If your toddler has reached an age where they have begun to wear traditional underwear, though, a traditional leotard will be sufficient.

Of course, this isn’t a definitive rule— some children in this age group are more comfortable wearing either a leotard or unitard despite how old they are. So, it’s important to be willing to accommodate them to ensure their gymnastics experience is as enjoyable as possible.  

When it comes to design, toddlers generally prefer flashy and colorful gymnastics clothing. This will help them enjoy their practice more and facilitates their interest in the sport.


As children age toward their teen years, their bodies begin to develop quite rapidly. A traditional leotard is often the most comfortable for this age group.

However, compression shorts are a viable alternative for those who aren’t comfortable wearing only a leotard.

Girls at this age are also more likely to be wearing jewelry, which is likely to impose a safety risk for gymnasts. It's essential to remove anything except stud earrings to prevent any complications from arising. 

Preteens may begin to shy away from overly eye-catching leotard designs and gravitate more toward a simple aesthetic. Keep this in mind when shopping for them.


Older gymnasts may require different wardrobe accommodations depending on their body type and personal preferences.

For example, some girls are more comfortable with the extra support of a sports bra as opposed to wearing the leotard. Similarly, many teenage gymnasts wear shorts over their leotard to prevent any discomfort from their underwear shifting during movement, an unintended wardrobe malfunction, etc.

As with preteen gymnasts, teenage gymnasts should also avoid wearing any type of jewelry that could get caught on their hair or equipment.

Generally, teenage gymnasts tend to prefer less flashy designs for their leotards. Solid, dark colors tend to be the most common choices.

What About Male Gymnasts?

Although gymnastics is a heavily female-dominant sport, there are plenty of male gymnasts out there.

Younger gymnasts will want to wear comfortable shorts and a T-shirt for their gymnastics session. As they get older, male gymnasts often switch from a T-shirt to a tight tank top.

In general, compression shorts, athletic shorts, and sweatpants are all viable options when it comes to clothing for the lower body. However, tighter clothing options are often more conducive to training.

If they plan on competing, it’s worth noting that male gymnasts will eventually wear a leotard paired with either shorts or pants while in a competition. So, teenage male gymnasts may want to wear a leotard and shorts to practice in order to get used to how it feels before a competition.

As with female gymnasts, no jewelry should be worn unless it’s small stud earrings.

Other Considerations

No matter their age, anyone who attends a gymnastics class should be barefoot for the duration of the session. Wearing socks could result in slippage, which serves as a hazard that could lead to injury. 

Long hair should be tied back into a ponytail, braid, or bun. Since longer hair can easily fall in front of the face and impair vision, it can lead to slips or falls that result in injury.

For those who like to add a bit of personality to their outfit, headbands are common accessories that many gymnasts wear during practice since they're a particularly nice way to complement a leotard.

It’s also important not to neglect warm-up gymnastics apparel. Jackets and pants that can easily slip on over the clothing they wear to practice will make the warm-up process far more efficient and help your child stay limber.

Since they'll need to remove their shoes before practicing, it’s best for them to wear slip-on shoes to the facility to make it as easy as possible to put them on and take them off. This is especially true for younger children.

Choosing The Right Gymnastics Attire Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn't have to be.

With the above information about gymnastics attire in mind, you'll be well on your way toward making the decision that's most appropriate for your child.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

Read more
14 results