Schools and School activities are supposed to reward extraordinary achievement and dedication on the parts of their students.
But for one 17-year-old swimmer, she found her accomplishments erased when a referee disqualified her after she won.
The reason cited? The bottom of her one-piece swimsuit had bunched up during her swim. The national outcry was swift and immediate.
Dimond High School in Anchorage, Alaska boasts one of the fastest swimmers in the country's largest state.
Unfortunately for that very talented 17-year-old athlete, she is now at the center of a nationwide controversy.
On Friday night, she won a 100m freestyle event against the rival team from Chugiak.
Sadly, her victory was short-lived.
The referee disqualified her after-the-fact, citing -- and we wish that we were kidding -- that her swimsuit had a wedgie.
Most people would not have paid any attention to a slightly bunched up one-piece, because that can happen to any swimsuit.
It is also worth noting, of course, that the one-piece was provided by the school -- this wasn't the case of a swimmer going rogue with her uniform.
But the referee issued a disqualification based upon the girl's "intergluteal cleft."
Notably, the national rulebook does not say anything of the sort.
And while coaches in the district were cautioned against swimmers showing "intergluteal cleft," the one-piece only did so while bunched up.
There have been no shortage of deeply sexist dress codes and ensuing scandals over the years as fewer families are willing to stand for them.
But this was clearly a step further, and spawned national outrage practically overnight.
There was more than misogyny and inherent unfairness at play behind this unbelievable decision by the referee.
Millions of Americans reading about the outrageous disqualification took note of the fact that the girl in question is biracial and somewhat curvy.
Bias against curvier women and girls is sadly nothing new, and they are often excessively sexualized despite wearing normal clothing.
And we hope that we do not have to explain that racism is alive and well in America to a sickening degree.
These factors were pointed out by a coach at a neighboring high school -- a rival school, and the last person you'd think would root for an opposing athlete.
She wrote about how this girl wore the same uniform as her teammates, none of whom had receives violations.
She also recalled incidents of this girl and her sisters being targeted even by parents who felt that the girls' curves made them inherently indecent.
(One parent even photographed the girl and distributed pictures, which is mega creepy and got him scolded by the school district)
Anchorage School District, taking note of the coach's outrage and of the national outcry, released a statement just days after the disqualifcation.
"The disqualification appears to stem from a difference of opinion in the interpretation of the rules governing high school swim uniforms," it begins.
The statement continues: "Immediately after the disqualification, the Dimond HS swim coach filed a protest with the official to contest the decision."
We intend to gather all the facts surrounding the disqualification so we can accurately address the matter with officials," the district adds.
"And, they conclude, they will "take appropriate action to ensure fair, equitable competition and consistent application of the rules for this athlete and her peers."
Well, that internal inquiry by the Anchorage School District concluded that the 17-year-old athlete was unfairly targeted.
They sent an appeal to the Alaska School Activities Association, who had to have known that this was coming.
It took only one hour for the ASAA to reverse the disqualification.
Like in one of the early Harry Potter books where magic sports still mattered, all points were restored to the Dimond team.
The ASAA is still mulling over whether to decertify the referee and also whether to suspend the clearly unfair "suit coverage rule."
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