The Most Popular Leotard in Gymnastics History (Part III)

Note: There are so many gymnasts who wore the white-flower leotard that I had to break this article up into three parts.

Part I: Soviet Union, China, Romania, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia
Part II: United States, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Davydova

After covering China, Eastern Europe, and the Untied States, it is time to conclude this three part series by paying homage to the country that created it, Japan.

Maiko Morio

Maiko Morio was a 2x Olympian having participated in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. She also appeared in both the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games taking 5th in the All-Around (AA) on both occasions. It was during the 1986 Asian Games that she wore the blue version of the white-flower leotard.

Sakiko Nozawa

Sakiko Nozawa was a Japanese gymnast that was also named to two Olympic teams. She appeared in the 1976 Olympics and 1980 Alternate Olympics. She wore the red version.

Tokie Kawase

Tokie Kawase is the second Japanese gymnast who participated in the 1984 Olympics that also wore this leotard. Like her fellow 1984 Olympic teammate Maiko Morio, she attended the 1983 World Championships. Tokie Kawase and Maiko Morio were the two highest ranking Japanese gymnasts at this competition and both wore the white-flower leotard.

Asako Inoue

Also joining Maiko Morio at the 1986 Asian Games was Asako Inoue who was Japan’s second best gymnast at this particular competition. In the above picture she can be seen wearing the white-flower leotard. Below is another set of Japanese gymnasts who wore the leotard. Unfortunately, I was unable to identify them.

The leotard was also worn by British gymnasts. Denise Jones was Great Britain’s highest scoring gymnast in the AA at the 1980 Olympics and wore the leotard at one point in her career.

Denise Jones

Another British gymnast known to have worn it was Jackie Box who was the top ranked British gymnast at the 1982 Junior European Championships.

Jackie Box

The leotard also appears in a Getty Images database thanks to a Canadian gymnast by the name of Carrie Shearstone. She never appeared in a major gymnastics competition.

Carrie Shearstone

Gymnastics fans on Facebook posted numerous miscellaneous items including a link where it was available to purchase online, although the link has since ceased to function. But it did include the following image.

There were also photos that appeared to be advertisements for the leotard.

Whereas Chinese, European, and American gymnasts seemed to favor the red version of the leotard, in Japan it seemed the blue version was more popular.

The leotard was also worn by a significant number of rhythmic gymnasts. Soviet gymnast Tatiana Druchinina wore the red version. She won a gold medal at the 1987 World Championships.

Tatiana Druchinina

Romania’s Doina Staiculescu also wore the red version. She is best known for finishing second in the AA at the 1984 Olympics.

Doina Staiculescu

Bulgarian gymnast Bianka Panova wore the red version. She won the AA at the 1987 World Championships.

Bianka Panova

Chinese gymnast Tao Yu wore it, she was a participant at the 1983 World Championships.

Tao Yu

For a discipline of gymnastics known for the overwhelming dominance of Bulgaria and the Soviet Union, Spanish gymnast Ana Bautista was one of their top challengers. She finished in 5th place on all five events (including the AA) at the 1989 World Championships.

Ana Bautista

Canadian gymnast Adrianne Dunnett also wore the white-flower leotard. Not only did gymnasts from three different continents wear the leotard in women’s artistic gymnastics, but the same trend occurred in rhythmic gymnastics as well.

Adrianne Dunnett

Galina Beloglazova was another Soviet gymnast who wore this leotard. She finished 2nd in the AA at the 1983 World Championships.

Galina Beloglazova

Part I: Soviet Union, China, Romania, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia
Part II: United States, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Davydova

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