The Colombian Women's Cycling team have found themselves the centre of
ridicule media attention today, after an unfortunate kit design - featuring a nude strip around their nether regions - left them looking somewhat exposed.
The story has been covered by sniggering news outlets across the world as a "fashion faux-pas" and the president of International Cycling Union (UCI), Brian Cookson, has labelled it "unacceptable by any standard of decency".
But the most troubling part of the story isn't the outfits, but the way that appearance has - once again - completely overshadowed the sporting achievements of professional female athletes. In our opinion they are being reduced to nothing more than body parts.
— ÚltimoKilómetro (@Ultimo_km1) September 12, 2014
— MorenoBreda (@Morenik_) September 13, 2014
Unlike men's sport, this country - and pretty much the rest of the world - only sit up to take notice of female athletes when they are winning golds and taking home trophies.
Take Serena and Venus Williams, Jessica Ennis, the Arsenal ladies team and, most recently, the England women's rugby team who took home the women's rugby world cup. Other than that, female athletes are only reported on in relation to their outward appearance.
How about we focus on the sport rather than the women's clothing? Here are a few things you need to know about the Colombian women's cycling team, once you've taken your eyes off their crotches...
For starters the team is the women's cycling Bogotá Humana, which is backed by Colombia's ministry of sport and is sponsored by the capital city of Bogotá .
Also, not one report (and believe me, we've looked) has mentioned any of the women's names. As athletes racing at an international level, we think we owe them that much. According to the Federación Colombiana de Ciclismo (Colombian Cycling Federation), the women are Laura Lozano, Ana Cristina Sanabria, Luz Adriana Tovar, Angie Rojas, Lina Dueñas and Argenis Orozco. They are coached by Jorge Tenjo.
The annual race is held in honour of former Italian cycling champion, Michela Fanini, whose life and career was cut short when she died in a car crash in 1994 aged 21, according to the MailOnline. A fact that makes the focus on women's genitalia all the more uncomfortable.
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