Tokyo Olympics broadcasters attempt to curb sexualization of female athletes

Olympic Broadcasting Services CEO Yiannis Exarchos said Monday that coverage will be different. One of the mottos for the Games is “sport appeal, not sex appeal.”

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“You will not see in our coverage some things that we have been seeing in the past, with details and close-up on parts of the body,” Exarchos said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) doesn’t have exact rules when it comes to uniform guidelines, but it does run the Olympic Broadcast Service and the images fans see all over the world on their screens.

“What we can do is to make sure that our coverage does not highlight or feature in any particular way what people are wearing,” Exarchos said.

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The IOC cautions against focusing “unnecessarily on looks, clothing or intimate body parts.”

“We in media have not yet done all that we can do,” Exarchos added. “This is something that we need to be frank and open (about) among ourselves.”

The sexualization of female athletes had been a topic of conversation in the days leading up to the Olympics.

The Norway women’s beach handball team was fined for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottoms in a tournament. The German women’s gymnastics team switched from unitards to leotards to prevent the sexualization of the athletes.

The German team debuted the unconventional full-length uniform at the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in April, according to BBC. The German Federation (DTB) said at the time the gymnasts were standing up against “sexualization in gymnastics.”

Sarah Voss of Germany performs on the uneven bars during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Sarah Voss of Germany performs on the uneven bars during the women’s artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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