Swim cap for Black hair gets race approval after Olympic ban

September 3, 2022

A cap designed for Black swimmers’ natural hair that was banned from the Tokyo Olympics has been approved for competitive races.

Promoting diversity and inclusivity is at the heart of FINA’s work, and it is very important that all aquatic athletes have access to the appropriate swimwear. The London-based Soul Cap brand was designed larger than existing styles to contain and protect dreadlocks, weaves, hair extensions, braids, and thick and curly hair.

Last year, British swimmer Alice Dearing was refused permission to wear a Soul Cap in the 10-kilometer marathon swim in Tokyo, with FINA suggesting the size could create an advantage. The furor at that decision prompted an apology from the governing body and a promise to review the application. AP