Tag Archives: South Africa

South African runner a proved “hermaphrodite?”

South Africa's Caster SemenyaThis story has been a quite an interesting on that sparked my following from the beginning with the bigoted comments from runners and onlookers alike.

After being given a dressy shirt and big, dangly jewelry to wear on the cover of YOU magazine, the world seemed finally at peace with Caster Semenya since she looked feminine enough. Well now, reports are coming out from papers across the globe that she has gone through a series of medical tests and has “no womb or ovaries” and testosterone levels three-times that of an average female.

Though the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation), the governing body internationally for track and field events has gone ahead and said  that on their Web sitethat “NO decision on the case will be communicated until the IAAF has had the opportunity to complete this examination.” It seems to me that some papers and sites may be jumping the gun to sensationalize some news. Big shocker there.

The IAAF also said that they will be holding a council meeting in Monaco from November 20-21 where they will give their final ruling on the entire situation.

I personally have never heard of a situation like this before, but one of  my first questions is whether South Africa will continue to support the 18-year-old as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former wife of Nelson Mandela said at the airport in Johannesburg as part of the crowd welcoming Semenya home after the 800m at the world athletics championships in Berlin.

“We are here to tell the whole world how proud we are of our little girl. People can say and write what they like – we are proud of her,” said Madikizela-Mandela.

This came after the absolutely outrageous comments from runners Italy and Russia who said “These kinda of people should not run with us. For me, she’s not a woman. She’s a man,” (Elisa Cusma – Italy) and “Just look at her,” said Mariya Savinova of Russia, apparently in disbelief that Semenya would be able to pass the gender examination.

Jacquelin Magnay of the Sydney Morning Herald just put out a storyasking readers to “spare a thought” for Semenya who has become the center of this out of control gender-bending circus. In her piece, she consults the secretary of the IAAF Pierre Weiss, who explained that in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, eight athletes also tested for the XXY chromosome pattern that Semenya has. Six of those athletes continued in the games and competed at women yet four additional athletes who tested for the chromosome and came up positive and gave up their sports without a word.

If they can do it in the Olympics, my feeling is that it should be the same here. Semenya can be “my girl,” too. I hope she rocks it and continues to dazzle the media and haters with her poised responses. It helps, too that her entire country and family are behind her. Heck, they have a champ on their hands – who wouldn’t want to cheer her on?

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