We're nearly at the launch of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, where we celebrate the greatest athletes of our time from around the world. But their performances in the modern age owe those split-second wins not only to athletic prowess, but to the breathable, streamlined sportswear they wear, too. Here, we look back on how athletic fashion have changed since the first modern Olympic games began, from the modest floor-length skirts of the early 1900s to today's expanding range of aerodynamic, sweat-wicking technology.
Greek shepherd Spyridon Louis is the winner of the 40 km marathon at the first modern Olympics games held in Athens in 1986. Women are not formally invited to the event, though they're not explicitly barred.
Helen Provost won the silver medal at the tennis women's singles in Paris, and in a full-length skirt, no less. Females taking part had no choice but to play in ankle-length dresses with the long sleeves and high necks of the time period, plus shoes with a heel.