The countdown to Rio has begun, and it’s no surprise that the gymnastic competitions are a must-watch for many. While we’re in complete awe watching these young women defy gravity and stick the landing each and every time, their superhuman ability isn’t the only thing we can’t help but admire.
The leotards of today’s gymnasts are all about wowing the crowd—and more importantly, the judges—with their glitz and glam. Bright colors, skin-tight material, and Swarovski crystals (the shinier, the better) are standard elements of the 21st century leotard. For gymnasts, a perfect one-piece is the equivalent to a perfect red carpet dress, and when these gymnasts step onto the mat looking their best, that confidence translates into their performance. But just as fashion trends on the runway evolve, so do the leotard trends on the balance beam. Scroll down for some ultimate throwbacks to see just how much the Olympic gymnastic leotard has changed over time.