Olympians flash their bling while going for gold

Leon Neal / AFP - Getty Images

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer wears her elephant stud earrings on July 29, 2012 in London.

Though the Olympics sees more than its share of grit, the London Games have also had plenty of glitter: More and more athletes are pushing the envelope and showing off their bejeweled accessories while competing.
Aly Raisman, the 18-year-old gymnast and captain of the U.S. gymnastics team, made sure to pack her custom-made earrings when she left for London. Made especially for her by Adamas Fine Jewelry in her hometown of Newton Highlands, Mass., the earrings have rubies, sapphires and diamonds to represent the red, white and blue.
Adamas owner Veronica Sagherian spoke of the bespoke studs in a statement, saying that they were made in support of Raisman’s accomplishments: “We wanted to create something that fits her style in the Olympic games. We hope that this is a piece that she will wear forever.”
“If I’m allowed to wear them in the competition, then I will,” Raisman told NBC-affiliate WHDH. Once she got the green light from her coaches, it's as if she hasn’t taken them off: She’s been photographed wearing them when she qualified for her all-around final, as well as during pre-Olympic interviews and in her Sports Illustrated cover shoot.

If Raisman's team does well at the games, they can expect to get a hint of glam as well: Adamas Fine Jewelry has promised a pair of the earrings to each of Raisman's teammates if they bring home gold.


Mike Blake / REUTERS

Aly Raisman performs at the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials in San Jose, Calif., on June 29, 2012.

When spectators caught a glimpse of Raisman rocking her bling on the bars, many took to Twitter to ask if that was against the rules. Many of the tweeters complained that athletes competing on regional and national levels aren’t allowed to wear jewelry during competition.

User Alex Hickman tweeted, "If Olympic athletes can wear jewelry, why can't I wear earrings in my soccer games?" Adam Christopher asked, "I’m always surprised when women fencers wear big dangly earrings while fencing. Surely they jangle around inside the mask?"

But it isn't only Raisman and the odd fencer wearing jewelry into competition. American table tennis player Ariel Hsing has won two matches at the Olympics so far, and done so while wearing a pair of gold-backed studs.

And Dana Vollmer has been competing wearing a tiny pair of elephant earrings, which she bought as a good luck charm for London 2012. Looks like they've paid off so far: She scored a world record the second day of the games, winning the 100-meter butterfly in 55.98 seconds.

No stranger to glam, Paraguayan javelin thrower and beauty contestant Leryn Franco has been photographed competing in studs and diamond hoops. Franco has also been known to bring her javelin along to photo shoots, showing that a girl can both wear stilettos and handle a javelin with no trouble at all.

Norberto Duarte / AFP - Getty Images file

Paraguay's Leryn Franco sports hoop earringa in a javelin practice in Asuncion on July 19, 2012, ahead of the London Games.

The International Olympics Committee does not officially rule regarding jewelry for each sport; instead, the governing body of each sport sets its own rules. Which means, for instance, that wearing jewelry of any kind is a no-no for volleyball players, but gymnasts are allowed to wear earrings as long as they keep it simple.

A spokesperson for USA Gymnastics told TODAY.com that the latest official rule book concerning female gymnasts states, “No jewelry, with the exception of one pair of stud earrings (one in each ear). All other piercing should be removed, not just covered with tape or Band-Aids.”

Looks like Raisman is free to show off that red, white and blue.


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Discuss this post

"...wearing jewelry of any kind is a no-no for volleyball players..."

This can't be true because I have watched Keri and Misty play all of their matches with plenty of jewelry on. Keri especially wears several gold necklaces.

    Reply#1 - Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:52 AM EDT

    Why make issues out of something that doesn't matter.....

      Reply#2 - Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:35 PM EDT

      I would think it would be self-regulating. "Your earlobe ripped when your earring got caught in the net? Sucks to be you, I guess."

        Reply#3 - Wed Aug 1, 2012 9:58 AM EDT
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