Voss said the team had discussed their choice of attire before competing on Sunday and had settled on the unitard.
“As you are growing up as a woman, it is quite difficult to get used to your new body in a way,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable and we show everyone that they can wear whatever they want and look amazing, feel amazing, whether it is in a long leotard or a short one.”
Voss said the team, which wore full-body suits at the European championships in April, were keen for the trend to catch on. “We want to be a role model in any case, to make everybody have the courage to follow us,” she said.
The Germans’ decision to wear unitards earned them praise from fellow competitors in Tokyo.
“I think it’s really cool that they have the guts to stand on such a huge arena and show girls from all over the world that you can wear whatever you want,” said Norwegian gymnast Julie Erichsen. “I applaud them for that.”
For women, the standard competition outfit is a leotard, with long, half-length sleeved and sleeveless garments allowed. Outfits covering legs are authorized in international competitions but to date they have been worn mostly for religious reasons.