Team GB women will be fitted with special sports bras for this year's Tokyo Olympics
Scientists at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) have been working on a bespoke sports bra for Team GB’s Olympic women in time for the Tokyo games.
Over 100 Olympic and Paralympic athletes will be fitted with the new bras in a long-overdue move to further examine sportswomen’s breast health to reduce discomfort.
A study by the University of Portsmouth revealed that women were on average able to run a mile further in the time it would usually take to run a marathon just by switching to a well-fitted sports bra.
With breast discomfort and lack of support clearly key to a sportswoman’s ability to perform, the EIS surveyed 70 elite athletes and discovered that over a quarter of them had taken medication to reduce breast pain. The same proportion said that the discomfort they felt made it difficult to compete and train to the best of their abilities.
Three quarters of the athletes had never been fitted with a sports bra, which prompted the EIS to get as many Olympic sportswomen access to supportive bras before the Tokyo games.
According to the BBC, three athletes have received their bras so far with another 109 due to receive them in April.
Team GB hockey star Hannah Martin said: “As a female athlete it’s as important as trainers to be able to play and perform to your best. It’s always been at the forefront of my mind and I’ve always tried to make sure I’ve got the most supportive and comfortable ones I can find.”
Although it’s mind-boggling that Olympic athletes weren’t being fitted with the correct sports bras in the first place, we hope this more mainstream interest and investment in breast health will be a game-changer for women in sport.