Simone Biles, 24, and her Olympic teammates have stepped out in the Swarovski crystal-adorned leotards they’re set to compete in at the Tokyo Games. The USA Gymnastics team gave fans a look at the glittering outfits during a training session at Ariake Gymnastics Centre in Tokyo on July 22. The elite athletes wore two different leotards designed by GK Elite, which were custom made for each of the gymnasts and encrusted with about 3500 Swarovski crystals. Simone, Jordan Chiles, Sunisa Lee, and Grace McCallum all wore black and rose gold uniforms.
The dark leotard was inspired bu the Olympic torch and is said to have a “dynasty” theme. “They’re a celebration of all that has led the USA to being a powerhouse gymnastics team and country paying homage to athletes and designs of the past, while preparing for the future,” per GK Elite, with price estimates per garment in the $700 to $1200 range.
Meanwhile, MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey stunned in lavender ice leotards with a “fearless” theme. The manufacturer, who have been designing Team USA’s Olympic leotards since 2000, said the pastel uniform recognizes “the hard work, determination, and true fearlessness that Team USA’s top athletes exude.” Featuring a deep-V mesh cutout, the shiny purple leotard is adorned with 3468 Swarovski crystals, including a crystalized USA on right hip.
Additional leotards are set to be unveiled throughout the course of the Games, with each one featuring special details, like 76 individual stars as a nod to America’s independence in 1776. “GK Elite has a rich heritage as the leading apparel for competitive gymnasts and we are proud to have our brand represented on the sport’s greatest stage by Team USA,” Girisha Chandraraj, President and CEO of Elite Sportswear, said in a press release.
During an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2016, GK Elite chief design officer Kelly McKeown revealed that it takes two years, and a lot of research, to create the team’s uniform. “It’s something you don’t want to rush. If you want to use a new technique, if you want to experiment, then you have to wear-test it, you have to wash-test it, you have to make sure that it’s not going to fail on the competition floor,” she said at the time, noting that each gymnast’s wardrobe for the duration of the Games can cost up to $12000.