The International Swimming Federation (FINA) is reconsidering a ban previously placed on a swim cap designed specifically for Black hair.
Invented in 2017, Soul Cap swim cap offers additional room for more voluminous hairstyles such as braids, dreadlocks, and afros. The two founders attempted to register the Soul Cap with FINA for use in Olympic competition and were denied.
FINA claims that the swim cap ban came about because “athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require to use, caps of such size and configuration,” and that it doesn’t follow “the natural form of the head.”
Lia Neal, a two-time Olympic medalist and the second Black female swimmer to make a U.S. Olympic team believes “this is so much bigger than banning a type of cap” and that the backlash FINA received is a good sign for the sport.
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