A cap designed to guard Black swimmers’ hair has lastly acquired approval for use in aggressive races after it was banned from the Tokyo Olympics final 12 months.
On Friday (September 2), Soul Cap, the additional giant swim cap made to carry quite a lot of Black hairstyles, landed on the record of accredited gear regulated by FINA, swimming’s governing physique, per AP Information.
“Selling variety and inclusivity is on the coronary heart of FINA’s work,” govt director Brent Nowicki mentioned in a press release, “and it is extremely essential that every one aquatic athletes have entry to the suitable swimwear.”
The London-based swim cap was designed to be greater than others in the marketplace to include dreadlocks, weaves, hair extensions, braids, thick and curly hair, and different Black hair varieties.
The approval comes after British swimmer Alice Dearing was barred from sporting a Soul Cap within the 10-kilometer marathon swim in Tokyo final 12 months.
The general public outrage that ensued after FINA prompt that the dimensions of the cap may create a bonus for the swimmer led to an apology from the governing physique and a pledge to overview the choice for future races.
Now, greater than a 12 months after Soul Cap was banned from the Olympics, the corporate mentioned the approval marks a “big step in the fitting path” for swimming, which has traditionally featured a small pool of Black athletes.
“For a very long time, typical swim caps have been an impediment for swimmers with thick, curly, or volume-blessed hair,” Soul Cap mentioned in a press release. “They will’t all the time discover a cap that matches their hair sort, and that always implies that swimmers from some backgrounds find yourself avoiding competitions, or giving up the game completely.
“We’re excited to see the way forward for a sport that’s changing into extra inclusive for the following era of younger swimmers.”
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