South African Olympic champion, Caster Semenya recently revealed how she had to walk naked into a changing room full of other girls, simply in an attempt to prove to them that she was actually a girl. ,
She made the revelations while speaking at the Standard Bank Top Women Conference held at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa, reports The Sowetan Live.
According to the report, her toughness as a woman has stemmed from her growing up years when she was brought up around boys, who together with her, had to walk seven miles every single day to school. This, she said, contributed to why she is so fast.
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“I was always in the bush [training]. Bullies for me never existed because how I responded to them, was way rough. I was one of those young [ladies] that had no fear. I had goals. I knew that everything I touched would turn to gold,” she said.
Caster Semenya, the South African middle-distance runner and two-time 800m Olympic champion, isn’t new to her gender being questioned and used against her.
Recently, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled against Semenya in her case against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) forcing female athletes to regulate their testosterone levels in order to compete.
Following the ruling in May of this year, Semenya was also quoted as saying: “For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down. But this has actually made me stronger. The decision of the CAS will not hold me back. I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.”
With a mother who played netball and a father who was a soccer player, being in sports became an easy thing for Semenya even though she said she disappointed her father when she turned to athletics instead of his desire for her to play for the Banyana Banyana.
“My dad thought I was going to be with Banyana Banyana but I disappointed him because I had to sell my soccer boots for spikes instead. He was quite surprised. Running is my destiny. When I’m on track, I forget about everything,” quotes The Sowetan Live.
In June, Face2Face Africa reported how Caster Semenya will no longer be required to take testosterone suppressants to compete after a Swiss court temporarily suspended a new ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland ordered the IAAF, the international athletics body, to suspend its female eligibility regulations with immediate effect, Semenya’s lawyers said in a statement.