In 2008, when Nastia Liukin won the gold medal in the individual all-around competition at the Olympics in Beijing, her leotard had 184 crystals on it.
This year, many of the Team USA leotards will have close to 5,000 Swarovski crystals each.
In other words, Sparkle is the currency of gymnastic performance and its inflation rate is a billion percent.
Just another day at the office.
This article has so many choice quotes that I'm not even sure what to do with them all, but here are some key points:
“It’s difficult for me to imagine how we could get more crystals on,” said Kelly McKeown, executive vice president for design and corporate relations at GK Elite, the official outfitter of the American national gymnastics team. This Olympics, “we may have hit peak crystal.”
Peak crystal? Doubt it. Something tells me future sparkle analysts will chuckle at the naivety of this statement . . .
“In the early 1990s, the U.S. team always wore white, because Martha wanted to show off their six-packs,” Ms. McKeown said (referring to abs, not beer).
Incidentally, white is also a great way to display what beer has done to your body.
This autumn, Mr. Wellhoefer said, Swarovski will introduce a new crystal product, called a Concise Crystal, that is 50 percent lighter than previous stones, allowing for even more encrustation and refractory gleam. “We’re in a crystal arms race,” Mr. Wellhoefer said.
Additional evidence that we have NOT reached peak crystal yet. In fact, this may only be the beginning.