Crystal-Encrusted Leotards and Child Advocacy Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of USA Gymnastics

What better way to honor fifty years of USA Olympic Gymnastics than with a leotard covered in Swarovski Crystals? While it may seem overly lavish, the gymnastics garment is actually part of GK Elite Sportswear’s “2013 couture collection,” and is being raffled for charity. The sportswear company has paired with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, the primary brand for the finest crystals manufactured by Swarovski, to create the leotard, which is valued at $5,000.

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Image: GK Elite Sportswear

According to PRWeb, the two design companies are “pleased to announce the donation of the second gymnastics leotard from their couture collection. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of USA Gymnastics, the proceeds from the charity raffle of this patriotic leotard design will benefit Right To Play, a non-profit organization whose mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities.”

Right to Play is a global not-for-profit organization that uses organized sports as a way to advocate for and empower disadvantaged children around the world. Founded by Johann Koss in 2000, Right to Play has gained enormous momentum since he became a 2013 recipient of the Henry R. Kravis Prize for Leadership. According to Claremont McKenna College, “The Prize aspires to impact the nonprofit sector overall by lauding strong performance and sharing recipients’ best practices with others,” and Koss’ organization received a momentous $250,000 to better the lives of children all over the world. Claremont McKenna, along with Marie-Josée and husband Henry Kravis, administers the Prize. It is named for Kravis, who is a trustee and alumnus of the college.

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Koss knows a thing or two about athletics, as well as social justice. He is a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, whose travels have exposed him to underserved children in many countries. Right to Play merges his love of sports with an understanding that they can be used as a tool to instill education and better the lives of disadvantaged youth. To commemorate 50 years of USA Gymnastics, celebration and social responsibility go hand in hand, which is where the Swarovski Leotard comes in, as an embodiment of both.

The garment was conceived by GK Elite Sportswear designer Erica Jones, sought out to create a piece that was visually stunning, evocative of the USA Gymnastics’ rich history, as well as patriotic. The leotard will be raffled from August 15th-17th during the USA Gymnastics National Congress & Trade Show, with 100% of proceeds from raffle tickets going to Right To Play. An unlikely pair, it seems as though haute couture and athletics combined create a fantastic platform for charity.

Featured Image: Singapore Youth Olympic Games via Flickr CC


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