People have played beach volleyball in their swimsuits for generations. So when the sport joined the Olympic roster at the Atlanta Summer Games in 1996, it was only natural that the female competitors would play in bikinis. But not everyone was a fan of the tiny uniform. Some, including British Olympic athlete Denise Johns, alleged that the skimpy nature of the uniforms was a cynical bid to draw attention to the sport. Others defended the Olympic bikini, saying it was less likely to trap sand and restrict movement than the more demure one piece also sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball, though less popular. "We wear a bikini because it is hot out there most of the time," explained Australian gold-medalist Natalie Cook.