'Speechless': Paralympian's outrage over 'disgusting' outfit remark

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Paralympian Olivia Breen is seen here competing in a long jump event in 2021.
Paralympian Olivia Breen was fuming after being told her sprint briefs were inappropriate by an official. Pic: Getty

A two-time Paralympic world champion has expressed her dismay at an athletics official after being reprimanded for her outfit at a recent meet.

Welsh Paralympic athlete Olivia Breen said she was left shocked and disappointed when an official at the English Championships in Bedford remarked that her sprint briefs were "too short and inappropriate".

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Breen, an Olympic bronze medallist for Great Britain in the T35-38 4x100m relay in 2012, is a double world champion having won gold in the same event in 2015 and a gold in the T38 long jump in 2017.

The 24-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, said the official in question made the remark during the long jump event.

"I feel disappointed because just as I finished my long jump competition one of the female officials felt it necessary to inform me that my sprint briefs were too short and inappropriate," Breen said on Twitter.

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"I was left speechless. I have been wearing the same sprint style briefs for many years and they are specifically designed for competing in.

"I will hopefully be wearing them in Tokyo. It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticised. I hope no other female athletes had similar issues."

Shock and outrage over comment

Breen added that "women should not be made to feel self conscious" about their kits.

Similar outrage was seen on social media, where users condemned the official who made the comments.

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England Athletics told British media they were aware of the post and were investigating the issues "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," a spokesperson said.

British shot putter Amelia Stricker went into bat for her compatriot by insisting that such "unnecessary" comments had no place in officiating.

Pictured here, Olivia Breen with her bronze medal from the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Olivia Breen poses with her bronze medal from the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Pic: Getty

“Female athletes shouldn’t be subjected to such criticism when there is already so much pressure on women to be ‘perfect’,” Sticker said.

“We are there to compete. You don’t like the outfits? Don’t officiate. We don’t need officials adding unnecessary stress in those moments.”

with agencies

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