Afro Swimming Cap Approved After Olympic Ban

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

3 Sep 2022

A swimming cap designed for Afro hair has been approved after previously being banned from use in top-level competitions.

Soul Cap, a British brand that makes extra-large caps for dreadlocks, afros, braids and “any type of voluminous hair” became headline news after the product was barred from being worn at the Olympics last year, as reported by the Metro.

Following social media backlash from the public and athletes alike world governing body Fina apologised and announced a U-turn on its decision.

Following, “a period of review and discussion on cap design between Fina and Soul Cap over the past year,” Fina executive director Brent Nowicki said, “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.”

Previously FINA had said “the athletes competing at the international events never used, neither require to use, caps of such size and configuration. They also described the headwear as unsuitable due to them not “following the natural form of the head”.

Soul Cap described the approval from FINA as “a huge step in the right direction”.

“Bringing inclusive swimwear into competitive swimming, and helping to bring down some of the obstacles that are keeping swimmers away from the sport,” Soul Cap said.

“But it’s not just about the Olympics and other high-profile events: It’s a decision that affects competitive swimming at every level – from triathlons and marathon swims, right down to the grassroots organisations that develop and train the next generation of elite athletes,”

“We’re excited to see the future of a sport that’s becoming more inclusive,” it said.