Competition Clothing in Wheel Gymnastics

– flexible rules allow for personal preference –

All images © Bart Treuren

Recently, the female German Artistic Gymnastics team made headlines when they decided to perform in long leotards; first at the European championships in April 2021, and then again during the Tokyo Olympics in July 2021. The gymnasts wanted to make a statement against the sexualisation of women in sports.

In international wheel gymnastics competitions for Cyr and Gym Wheel, full-body unitards or leotards with tights have always been permitted. It was important from the very beginning that gymnasts should not be excluded from competing because they were uncomfortable with the competition clothing. It is the choice of every gymnast to wear the leotard combination of his or her choice.

To emphasise the choice every gymnast has, the 2021 competition rules have been updated to define this more precisely.

In its mission statement, the IRV expresses its aim of achieving fair and respectful interaction within the sport. This includes each athlete being able to choose the competition clothing he/she feels comfortable wearing.

Gym Wheel


For women, the possibilities for competition clothing are:

  • One-piece tight-fitting leotard or tight-fitting unitard
  • One-piece leotard with tight-fitting gymnastics tights


For men, the following rules apply:

  • Men’s leotard with tight-fitting gymnastics trousers
  • Tight-fitting unitard

Cyr Wheel

In the competition regulations for Cyr Wheel, prescribed clothing is more loosely defined and is the same for men and women:

  • the gymnast must use gymnastics clothing for the Cyr Technical Programme
  • the gymnast can choose between regular gymnastics clothing or a costume for the Cyr Artistic Programme