Alaska school district reviewing female swimmer's disqualification for revealing swimsuit

Alaska school district reviewing female swimmer's disqualification for revealing swimsuit
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An Alaska school district is investigating the disqualification of a teenage swimmer after a referee ruled her suit revealed too much of her buttocks.

After winning a 100-meter freestyle race on Friday, the student from Dimond High School in Anchorage was disqualified by the referee, The Washington Post reported.

The disqualification sparked conversations about how female bodies are evaluated in sports, as the teenager did not choose the swimsuit, which all female swimmers on the school's team wear. 

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An official for the swim meet, Annette Rohde, told the Anchorage Daily News she heard a female referee say the teen's suit "was so far up I could see butt-cheek touching butt-cheek." 

Other swimmers' parents have complained about the swimsuits and some have reportedly told the mother of the teen that her daughter needs cover up in the interest of their sons, the Post reported.

"The disqualification appears to stem from a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the rules governing high school swim uniforms," the Anchorage School District said in a statement read.

The district added that the swimsuits met the regulations of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Lauren Langford, a swim coach at a nearby high school, told the Post that while "no one seems to be arguing about if it's sexism," there is debate about whether race played a role in the decision as the teenager is one of the few nonwhite athletes in the sport. 

"Some will argue this has nothing to do with race, but when the same officials targeting these girls have been heard saying that so-and-so white girl also shows too much skin but has never been disqualified for a similar violation the racial facet of this issue cannot be ignored," Langford wrote in a blog post Monday.

Langford described the swimmer as "heartbroken" that she was accused of pulling up her suit deliberately.

“The fact that she’s been told she’s intentionally trying to draw this sexual attention has really crushed her,” Langford told the Post.