Summary List Placement
Olivia Breen, a two-time Paralympic world champion, said she was told by an official at the English Championships in Bedford, England, on Sunday that her competition briefs were “too short and inappropriate.”
Breen, who wrote about the exchange in a statement on Twitter on Sunday, said she was left speechless and outraged, and questioned whether a male athlete would be subjected to the same remarks.
“I have been wearing the same sprint style briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in,” Breen, 24, wrote. “I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo. It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticized.”
— oliviabreen (@BreenOlivia) July 18, 2021
Breen, who has cerebral palsy, is scheduled to compete in the Tokyo Paralympics next month. She previously won the world gold medals in the T35-38 4x100m in 2015 and the T38 long jump in 2017.
According to The Guardian, Breen was wearing official Adidas briefs, and the official commented on Breen’s shorts after she competed in the long jump. Breen told The Guardian that she planned to file an official complaint with UK Athletics. Breen told Sky Sports News that she hopes the official will be “educated” instead of reprimanded.
“I think she should be educated. She doesn’t have any right to go up to a female and say what we can and can’t wear,” Breen told Sky Sports News.
Breen said the incident sparked other athletes sharing similar stories and experiences.
“[I’m] angry. I’ve had so many comments since the statement saying, ‘It happened to me,’ and they don’t feel confident speaking about it,” Breen told Sky Sports News. “That shouldn’t happen to people, we should feel confident with what we’re wearing.”
An England Athletics spokesperson told The Guardian that they “are aware of the post and will be investigating as a matter of urgency. The wellbeing of all participants in athletics is of the utmost importance and everyone should feel comfortable to compete and participate in the sport.”
Olivia Breen and England Athletics, respectively, did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.