AP: Geneva, Switzerland

In a surprise ruling Thursday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave its unanimous approval to Paganistan’s petition that its athletes be permitted to participate naked.

“This ruling will no doubt be highly unpopular in some circles,” said Bruner Soderberg, IOC chair pro tem. “But the IOC charter is quite clear on the matter. If some countries can require their athletes to compete with limbs fully covered—not to mention with headscarves—then the athletes of Paganistan have an equivalent right to their own national traditions.”

Paganistani sprinter and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Aspen Moore said: “It’s something to celebrate, a return to the original Olympic ideal. Any runner can tell you that clothing constricts your movement and slows you down.”

As expected, the ruling has created a stir among certain socially conservative countries. North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Iran have lodged protests with the IOC, but have yet to threaten withdrawal from the 2020 Games.

Magenta Griffith, high priestess emerita of Minneapolis, told reporters, “Socrates said, ‘If you want to understand the gods, look at excellence.’ The IOC’s decision today offers a profoundly theological opportunity to us all.”