Skip to content

Japan Olympic Volleyball and Other Sports’ Uniforms to be Creep Proof

With the Olympics about a month away, more and more nations are unveiling the uniforms their teams will sport in different disciplines. Over the past several decades, uniforms have been getting more and more technologically advanced, with some so hi-tech, purists have even called some of them “performance enhancing.”

So when an Olympic uniform makes the news, it’s usually for some new innovation, in addition to simply showing to the world what a particular nation’s athletes will be wearing in the pinnacle of international competition.

Japan recently announced they’ll be wearing new technologically advanced uniforms for volleyball, track and field, table tennis, and other sports. But rather than having some new cutting-edge tech to help their athletes perform better/faster/stronger, Japan will wear uniforms created by Mizuno, made of a cutting-edge new fabric that absorbs infrared light, preventing infrared cameras from seeing through to athletes’ underwear or bodies underneath.

Why is this even necessary, you may ask. According to this site, “During the games, infrared cameras installed at various places can potentially capture voyeuristic images of female athletes, which can later be circulated on pornographic sites.” (That site also offers an excellent explanation of how the infrared technology works.)


Per The Independent, Mizuno introduced the fabric this way: “In recent years, female athletes at competition venues and other locations are increasingly the victim of hidden photography and filming taken for illicit purposes, the images and videos of which are then disseminated over the internet.

“Recently, in addition to visible light cameras, infrared cameras are also being used, and athletes are the victim of photographs that reveal images of their underwear and body underneath their uniforms.”

The fabric uses specialized material that absorbs light from the infrared range into the composition of the textile itself, making the fabric “nearly wholly opaque” under both visible and infrared light, Mizuno explains. And that, Mizuno says, “can help reduce the number of athletes that fall victim to illicit infrared photography.”

While not unique to Japan, apparently this sort of illicit activity is becoming more pervasive there. Mizuno has stepped up to try to mitigate his new form of voyeurism.

I don’t know whether I’m more disturbed or disgusted by this practice, but either way, good on Mizuno for listening to the complaints of Japan’s female athletes and for taking actions to try to mitigate the peeping Toms.

We’ll undoubtedly hear about Olympic uniforms that have other technological advances designed for the upcoming Paris games. One can only hope those innovations are designed to make athletes more comfortable and at ease with their bodies (as well as to make them bigger/stronger/faster), and not to ward off creeps.

At least we can hope so.

Your thoughts?

Comments (9)

    I remember that Sony had to modify camcorders in 1998 because it was discovered that the night vision system on those camcorders could be used to see through clothing.

    I believe it is “faster, higher, stronger.” Although “bigger” certainly applied to Warsaw Pact athletes in years past…

    Well done, Mizuno! I agree with you, Phil. I am not sure if I am more disgusted or disturbed. Absolutely the right thing to do and worth the investment.

    This is fascinating. I had no idea.

    I have a female friend who plays D1 soccer in Sweden, and she once gave me a lengthy explanation of which panties are best to wear under soccer shorts based on what they allow to be visible to other people. So I’m probably more well-versed on the subject than the average man. But this is a whole different facet of it that’s completely new to me

    First thing I thought of was the X-Ray glasses ads that were run in comics and pulp sports magazines when I was a kid. link

    Typo: “Recently, in addition to visible light cameras, oinfrared cameras are also being used”
    oinfrared -> infrared

    When did this become a thing? With a sizable fraction or the internet already devoted to porn, do we really need to use infrared photography for athletes without their consent? Good on Mizuno for stopping a thing that shouldn’t be a thing.

    well, unfortunately, some people get bored with “easy access” and part of the thrill for them is “getting away with something” or fixating on a particular person and finding a way to get something from them that isn’t being freely given. It’s stalking and/or assault gone high tech

    Hopefully, Mizuno will share this technology with Nike in regards to white pants.

    As an elementary school teacher, this creeps me out on so many levels. I really hope these types of cameras are not that available or is this going to be another tech “innovation” that can be used to spy on and embarrass students and teachers? Often the new things happen so quickly that, once again, schools end up chasing and trying to catch up, but too late for so many.

Comments are closed.