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Aussie Olympian Wanted To Wear A Dress At The Opening Ceremony To 'Break' Gender Stereotypes

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Aussie Olympian Wanted To Wear A Dress At The Opening Ceremony To 'Break' Gender Stereotypes

Australian boxer Harry Garside has revealed that he wanted to wear a dress to the Opening Ceremony for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 24-year-old didn't end up going ahead with the idea, however he came up with a way to challenge gender stereotypes during his quarter-final victory over Kazakhstan's Zakir Safiullin.

Garside, who also practices ballet while working as a plumber back home in Victoria, decided to paint his nails ahead of the bout.

"I got these [the nail polish] today. I just want to break stereotypes, to be honest. I'm a big one for that," he said.

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"There's a lot of people out there who feel like they have to be something because they're a male or a female. I'm all about just being different."

By making it to the semi-finals and guaranteeing himself at least a bronze medal, Garside earned Australia its first Olympic boxing podium in 33 years.

But while his talent with a pair of gloves is unquestionable, the mullet-sporting Aussie clearly wants to make an impact outside the ring.

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According to the lad himself, he had a grand plan in place for the Opening Ceremony which would have undoubtedly made a huge statement.

"I was going to wear a dress to the opening ceremony, but I didn't want to offend anyone," Garside said.

"I feel like some people might take it the wrong way, so this is my way of showcasing something."

Garside has garnered plenty of support from fans around the globe, not just Down Under.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

A tough (but certainly doable) task now lies ahead for him though as he looks set to take on world number one Andy Cruz for a shot at Olympic gold after winning his semi-final.

"[I was thinking] a thousand things... I know Kazakhstan is an extremely good boxing nation. I knew it was really close," he said.

"I'm very grateful that the (Olympic) Boxing Task Force have brought this in (score updates after each round) because if we didn't know that I would have just kept boxing the way I was boxing and I probably would have lost that fight.

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"It's crazy mate. We deserve it, we work bloody hard down there. I love my country so much.

"There's not many boxers [in Australia] - there's heaps of other sports - so I'm just grateful to do this for the next generation of athletes leading into the 2032 Brisbane Games."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Tokyo Olympics, Australia

Max Sherry
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