Tokyo Olympics 2021: Special Swimming Caps for Afro Hair Banned

Published 07/02/2021, 11:14 AM EDT
Marathon swimmer Alice Dearing during the Athletics kitting out session for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 at the Birmingham NEC, UK. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. (Photo by David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images)

Founded in Australia, Speedo has provided swimmers with modern swimwear to help them while competing in events. They are debuting a new Fastskin suit for the Canadian National Swimming team and Team USA.


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Speedo offers a wide variety of accessories like goggles and caps, for swimmers. But recently, Soul Cap has come up with a special swimming cap for swimmers with unique hairstyles.

Even though it’s known for its innovative idea, FINA denied permission to use these caps in the Tokyo Olympics 2021. They spoke about the cap not meeting the requirements needed, for the event.


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TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 25: A boat sails past the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Rings on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Following yesterdays announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, IOC officials have said they hope to confirm a new Olympics date as soon as possible. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Soul Cap not allowed in Tokyo Olympics 2021

Founded by Toks Ahmed and Michael Chapman, the cap aims to provide comfort for swimmers with diverse hairstyles. They spoke about being disappointed with the verdict.

“For younger swimmers, feeling included and seeing yourself in a sport at a young age is crucial. FINA’s recent dismissal could discourage many younger athletes from pursuing the sport as they progress through local, county and national competitive swimming.

“How do we achieve participation and representation in the world of competition swimmers, if the governing body stops suitable swimwear from being available to those who are underrepresented?said Toks.

Moreover, Soul Cap has recently partnered with Alice Dearing; the first black woman from Great Britain to represent the nation in the Olympics.

In addition, the brand has reached around 40,000 swimmers across the world. But this is a bitter disappointment for the company owners as they aimed at breaking stereotypes in the swimming competitions.


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FINA rejects Soul Cap

The federation for swimming rejected their approval, and this might be a problem for some swimmers. The athletes will have to figure out a way to tackle this problem.

FINA banned Soul Caps because they gave out a notion that athletes need not use caps of such sizes and shapes. The committee spoke about the cap not adhering to the natural shape of the head.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 14: Alice Dearing of Great Britain looks on after her Women’s 800m Freestyle heat on Day 3 of the Manchester International Swimming Meet 2021 at the Manchester Aquatics Centre on February 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

It disappointed the Soul Cap founders as they founded the company in 2017. Interestingly, the cap got introduced in the market when they met a woman with Afro hair who was struggling to put on her swimming cap.


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Likewise, the cap helps people with unique hairstyles to be comfortable while they take part in competitions. Despite all the advantages of this swimming cap, Toks and Michael met with disappointment because FINA rejected these caps to be used in the Tokyo Olympics.

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Jacob Gijy

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Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.