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Controversy has erupted in the gymnastics world over this Dutch competitor’s outfit.
Celine van Gerner caused a stir in August when she dressed as a cat for her floor routine at the European Championships. Van Gerner wore a cat-patterned leotard and had her face painted like cat, complementing her music from the musical Cats.
Fans fell in love with the outlandish move, rarely seen in the traditional and strict world of gymnastics. Although fans applauded the outfit, the International Gymnastics Federation was not so fond of the feline-inspired ensemble.
On Tuesday, the federation announced that competitors will henceforth be banned from doing likewise.
“Face painting is not allowed. Any makeup must be modest and not portray a theatrical character (animal or human),” the governing body stated.
Van Gerner took the news well, tweeting that she felt blessed that she got her performance in before full-on face painting was banned.
Just came in from Doha. I’m honored to be the FIRST, LAST and ONLY ONE in history who went out on stage in full character! Feeling blessed ☺️🤩 #history #firstlastonlyone #gymnastics @DutchGymnastics pic.twitter.com/6I61UXKZnh
— Céline van Gerner (@celinevangerner) October 29, 2018
However, others didn’t react to the news with such grace.
Lol “modest” like we’re not already half naked in leotards.
— margzetta (@MargzettaF) October 29, 2018
not gonna lie if I were a gymnast I'd go out in my next floor final with BITE ME FIG written on my face in lipstick, take the attire deduction, see if I give a rip. what you did at euros was awesome and this is yet another example of FIG seeing an opportunity to let the sport…
— danielle without the i (@say_duh_nelle) October 29, 2018
A TRUE ICON <3 Can't believe they did this!!!! @gymnastics stop preventing artistry in ARTISTIC gymnastics
— Connor Scott (@mustafinesse) October 29, 2018
As ridiculous as the ban is, they could've just used text but instead they plaster a huge photo of you as their "example".
— Craig Tilley (@CraigTilley95) October 29, 2018
— Anie Things™ 🎃👻💀 (@hamtesa) October 29, 2018
Super non-sense rule, but glad you made history!! That performance at Euros was unforgettable!
— Valery (@ValeryLilac) October 29, 2018
You were amazing!!!! They shouldn’t forbid it!! 🐱
— Patatita.com (@anamariguapi) October 29, 2018
Congratulations on being you. The FIG gave gone mad!
— Stefan Whitehouse (@Stefan9925) October 29, 2018
Honestly tomorrow all of the competitors should go out in full face makeup and exposed bra straps in protest
— Seanathon Michael (@Sean_nanigans) October 30, 2018
With the French Open infamously banning Serena Williams’s catsuit, there aren’t many sports left where dressing like a cat is legal.
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