Girl, 17, Disqualified From Swim Race Over 'Suit Wedgie'

The controversy is rocking Alaska's close-knit swimming community
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2019 3:52 PM CDT
'Suit Wedgie' Controversy Rocks Alaska High School Swimming
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Digital Vision.)

(Newser) – An Alaska high school swimmer won the 100-meter freestyle at Friday night's meet, only to be disqualified—apparently because her swimsuit had ridden up during the race. Breckynn Willis, 17, is described by the Washington Post as a "champion" on Anchorage's Dimond High School team, but she was disqualified over a uniform violation, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The National Federation of High Schools has a rule stating females' buttocks and breasts must be covered while swimming, and one of the officials working the meet says the referee who made the call told her the teen's school-issued bathing suit "was so far up I could see butt cheek touching butt cheek." "We have a term for it—it’s called a suit wedgie, and if you’ve ever been a swimmer, you’ve had one," says another local swim coach.

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That coach, West High's Lauren Langford, was so dismayed at the referee's call that she wrote a blog post about the incident, in which she alleged that "this young lady and her sisters are being targeted not for the way they wear their suits but for the way those suits fit their curvier, fuller figured bodies." Langford tells the Post she also believes racism is coming into play, because the teen—a top-ranked swimmer likely to go on to compete at the collegiate level—and her sisters are non-white athletes excelling in a predominantly white sport. Langford's blog post brought a lot of attention to the issue, and the Anchorage School District says it is reviewing the disqualification. Willis' mother tells KTUU the same ref embarrassed her younger daughter by critiquing the fit of the girl's suit during a meet. (Is Monopoly's new version eye-opening or sexist?)

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