Swedish figure skater Josefina Taljegård defied tradition as the only woman athlete wearing pants for the women’s short program at the Beijing Olympics.
On Tuesday Jan. 15, Taljegård wore a black one-piece suit covered in rhinestones and white details. She was the only woman among 30 contestants that chose to wear pants.
“I chose it because it fits the music, and also because I feel very strong and confident in this kind of clothes,” Taljegård said.
In 2004, the International Skating Union (ISU) changed its rules to allow women competitors to wear pants and unitards.
Previously, women had been required to wear skirts that covered their “hips and posterior.”
Currently, rules state that outfits for the women’s single competition must be “modest, dignified, and appropriate for athletic competition”.
Although Taljegård was a unique case in the figure skating women’s short program, several women in the rhythm dance section chose to wear pants or unitards, with six out of the 23 women wearing pants to their performances.
Movements pushing for uniform equality have risen to the forefront in the previous years.
During the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the German women’s gymnastic team wore full bodysuits to protest sexualization.
Earlier last year, the Norwegian women handball team also protested against wearing bikini bottoms and crop tops by competing in shorts, an action that led to the International Handball Federation changing its uniform rules.
Although Taljegård failed to qualify for the next round, people praised her confident performance.