When the subject is revealing too much in a sports competition, gymnastics is one of those disciplines that are in a league of its own. Perhaps the only other sports that come even close to the ballpark of providing fans with as many revealing moments that athletes and their parents are probably not too keen on seeing are beach volleyball and water polo. Other than those three, other sports sure make people prone to wardrobe malfunctions, but it doesn’t come even close.
Beach volleyball doesn’t really need much of an explanation, does it? That is simply a bunch of people playing volleyball while wearing swimming suits. Something is bound to go wrong at some point. Water polo has a similar problem, but of a more aggressive nature. A water polo game is vicious. While it might not seem to the spectators watching from above the surface of the water, what is going on underwater is the real game of water polo. Players pull each other, kick, and scratch as much as they can. And unavoidably, the opposition’s gear is the first thing to give out in the midst of that fiery battle.
Gymnastics is about as revealing as the other two, but in a more graceful way, if we can say that. For the most part, what a gymnast wears is a vital part of her routine and what she is doing to score points from the judges. Nevertheless, their attire is exceptionally skintight, and that unavoidably leads to some very embarrassing moments, just like the 14 you are about to see.
Another tenet of gymnastics is that an athlete must be focused in order to achieve greatness. After all, this is a sport where you are being evaluated by a panel of judges, who at the end of the day are almost always frustrated athletes looking very hard to find ways to punish you for every little mistake. Actually, we are not sure about that last part, but given how strict these people are with judging the athletes, we would not be too surprised if that was the background of most judges.
Either way, here we can see how even though an athlete might be revealing a little bit too much to the audience, she must remain focused on the job at hand. And we kind of agree with the mentality. Falling from the balance beam has to be something painful.
16 The Gear
In the introduction, we talked a little bit about the gear these incredible athletes wear in order to compete in their events. To give you a little background, in female artistic gymnastics there are four main events. These are the vaults, the uneven bars, the balance beam, and the floor exercises.
The first two are not precisely where fans get to get the best look of what the athletes are wearing. And for better or for worse, the clothes they wear to competition are very cool if you are into that sort of stuff. It takes a lot of designing work in order to get these done, and the folks responsible deserve some credit. But coming back to the topic, as you can see, the floor routine is where athletes spend most time performing.
15 A classic
If you have seen any list of embarrassing female athletes’ moments on the Internet, there is a very solid chance that you have run across this particular picture. Then again, this is a classic that brings us back to the issue of the female gymnastics uniform. Well, it is an issue depending on what side of the ballpark you are yelling from. While there are many people who complain, saying that these clothes should not be used by professional athletes since children are always watching these competitions, there are also the folks who defend this sort of gear for professional gymnastics competitions.
Sure, the uniform can make people prone to wardrobe malfunctions, but in this day and age what sport doesn’t do that? If you look for it, you could probably find wardrobe malfunctions in women’s chess.
Since we are talking about world champions, we cannot do much better than to bring up one of the most successful Romanian gymnasts of all time. This, ladies and gentlemen, is none other than Catalina Ponor. It was more than 13 years ago that this 5’3” 112-pound beauty of a woman took the world by storm in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
During those Summer Olympic Games more than a decade ago, the young Ponor surpassed all expectations and won nothing less than three gold medals. She climbed onto the top of the podium in the balance beam event, the floor exercise, and the team competition. Those were not her only dances on the Olympic stage either, as she also won one silver and one bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
13 McKayla Maroney
If you are one of those people who thinks the only way to become a famous athlete is to achieve the highest honors in your sport, you are dearly wrong. We live in the Internet age, folks. These days, anyone can become famous by simply posting a risqué picture on Instagram or something like that. It turns out that if you are a professional athlete, of any sort, you already have the exposition you need to explode with one simple addition to that mix.
That was what seemed to happen to McKayla Maroney when she decided to take things up a notch not too long ago. She took advantage of her Instagram following and posted some very revealing pictures like this one. And while she is not exactly doing gymnastics right here, since she is a gymnast and that is one hell of a revealing outfit, we reckoned this would be a solid addition to our list.
11 The Uniform
One of the things we will have to mention over and over again during the entire course of this article is the kind of uniform these extremely flexible athletes have to wear in order to compete at a gymnastics event. These outfits are super tight, and we cannot really imagine them being all that comfortable. Nevertheless, that is the price you have to pay to do all of those flips and look good while at it.
And if you think we are wrong on this one, just try to think about it for a little bit. The movements these people make are crazy in terms of flexibility. Just try to imagine the strain these movements would put on a regular clothing article. We don’t think even sweatpants would last that long if they were being used by a gymnast.
10 Mid-Air Regrets
Whenever a gymnast goes in mid-air, the only thing going through their mind is performing the move correctly and of course, sticking the landing. But somewhere on every female gymnast's mind has to be on whether they will be able to keep everything in place or not. Yes, they can't be too worried about it, because ultimately, they have to pull the move off safely, but occasionally, the tights will slip and something will pop out. With the nature of the design of the outfits, it's practically impossible to avoid wardrobe malfunctions at some point. We feel bad when it occurs mid-air, as it's like the gymnasts have to make a choice whether to complete the move, or cover up.
8 Behind the Scenes
If you are one of those people who thought that being a gymnastics trainer was not the manliest of jobs, guess again. Now, all jokes aside, this is quite the standard routine at a gymnastics training facility. We keep beating that dead horse of saying how athletes need to be flexible in order to excel at gymnastics. And this is how you get flexible enough to do that. Although we are sure none of those coaches is complaining about doing what they have to do, it is a necessary activity.
On the other hand, there is a dark side to the world of gymnastics that involves a lot of coaches, some of them very famous people. Just Google “gymnastics scandal” and you will find a barrage of articles that will terrify you.
7 The Right Mentality
This Olympic gymnast at the 2012 London games might not be revealing too much to the camera through which’s lenses we are seeing, but you better be damn well sure that the coach behind her is getting a nice, long look of something he should not be looking at. This is the complete opposite of being a gentleman. This is that creepy guy who shamelessly stares at the women in the gym.
Seriously, look at that dude. There is no shame in that face. That is probably a married man with three or four kids, who is not thinking twice about what he’s doing. To make it even worse, we are sure that if we find the video of this particular moment, it would not end quickly. Shame on you, sir.
6 Caught Red Handed?
How appropriate to follow the previous entry with one of Shawn Johnson, one of America's most famous gymnasts, seemingly catching someone red-handed. While it's possible she was just turning around to talk to someone, it really looks like she's just caught someone ogling her and might have been caught staring a little too long.
This is an interesting picture because it shows you what happens from an angle that the cameras are not always portraying in the television coverage. Meanwhile, we don’t believe that the person who took this particular picture was really thinking about the artistic appeal it would have. Shawn Johnson's been photographed many times in compromising positions and you're bound to find a bunch when looking through Google.
As we are pretty sure you’re very tired of hearing by now, a significant part of gymnastics has to do with flexibility and athletic prowess. But within that athletic prowess, one of the most important things for a gymnast to have is strength. Most of the women who compete in professional gymnastics might look very skinny and even frail to some people. But after you take a second look, you will realize that those women are built with nothing but muscle.
If you have any doubt about that, just take a quick look at the men’s side of gymnastics and try to find one guy who could not be a bodybuilder. Yeah, these people literally treat their bodies like machines and, sometimes, you can find women with crazy biceps like these.
4 The Outfit Doesn’t Help
Now, can you get a better sense of why we said that the outfits these athletes wear don’t really help the case of keeping them away from moments in which they reveal a little bit more than the fans and themselves were expecting?
And it’s not like this only happens to small-time gymnasts or people who are trying to become superstars in the sport. For example, the person in this picture is no one other than the 2008 Beijing Olympics balance beam gold medalist, Shawn Johnson. Yes, if this can happen to someone who won as many gold medals as Johnson did throughout her victorious career, it can happen to anyone. That being said, just try to fathom how hard it is to pull off a jump and flip like this.
2 McKayla Again
Over these past few years, and maybe even the last decade, there were few gymnasts who attracted as much attention because of their looks as McKayla Maroney. Here we have quite the revealing pic of her stretching and getting ready for an event at the 2012 London Olympics. Might we remind you that those were the games from which she came out with one gold and one silver medal?
If you are one of the most social media savvy people here, you might even remember McKayla because she became a meme after the silver medal she won during the London games. Apparently, she was not very happy with the fact that she only won a silver medal in the vault event, and she didn’t make much effort to hide her disappointment. Her expression on the podium became the "McKayla is not impressed" meme.
1 The Greatest
What better way to end a list like this than with a tribute to someone who might just be the greatest gymnast of our time? Simone Biles is someone who will definitely catch your eye if you see her walking down the street. But that would usually be because she is only 4’8” tall. Nevertheless, this little beauty has already earned more glories in her 20 years of life than most of us probably ever will.
She has been on the US national team since 2012 and has literally taken the world by storm since then. Just to get you started, let’s talk about her performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In her first appearance in the games, Biles won nothing less than four gold medals and one bronze. Her performance in World Championships is even crazier, as she has 10 gold medals, a couple of silvers and a pair of bronze medals.