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Posts Tagged ‘Caster Semenya’

Photo: Ryan Babel

In August 2009, it damn near broke my heart to see all the controversy surrounding South Africa’s young track star, Caster Semenya.  People thought she looked like a man and shouldn’t be allowed to compete against women.  Bah!

A lot has happened in Caster’s world since 2009:

  • Semenya won gold in the women’s 800 metres at the 2009 World Championships with a time of 1:55.45.
  • Elisa Cusma of Italy, who placed sixth, told the press: “These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she’s not a woman. She’s a man.”
  • Semenya was forced to take a gender test following her success in the 2009 World Championships.
  • Semenya got a makeover, so she’d look more like everyone expected her to.
  • Semenya was withdrawn from international competition until 6 July 2010 when the IAAF cleared her to return to competition (as a woman).
  • In December 2009 Track and Field News voted Semenya the Number One Women’s 800 metre runner of the year.
  • In 2010, the New Statesman included Semenya in its list “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010” (take that, Elisa Cusma… bet you didn’t make the list, did you??)

And just this past week, Semenya won a silver medal in the 800 metre race at the 2011 World Championships.  She still runs like the wind.  Congratulations, Caster!

Ed.note:  Cusma did not compete.  Looks like her career is over. 

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South African runner Caster Semenya, who we wrote about previously here, has received a makeover in response to claims that she’s too “manly” to compete as a female runner. 

The BBC has the story here and a small peek of the cover of YOU magazine, featuring the made over Semenya, can be seen here.

Will Cusma and Semenya’s other detractors be satisfied now?  Does a more feminine hairstyle and some bangles make her less competetive, and therefore acceptable as a female runner? 

I think she looks more like a woman than Elisa Cusma does, but that’s just me.

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Photo by Ryan Babel

Photo by Ryan Babel

South Africa’s 18 year old gem, Caster Semenya, won gold in the 800 meter track race last week.  But as soon as she did, people started talking about stripping her of her medal.  Why?  Because she’s too good to be a girl.  That’s right, she runs like a man.  She’s fast like a man.  She has a masculine build.  So she obviously can’t be a woman competing with all the other delicate flowers otherwise known as women.

According to the NYTimes, Italy’s 6th place runner, Elisa Cusma, said  “These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she’s not a woman.  She’s a man.”

Using that same logic,  the U.S.’ Levi Leipheimer should have said the following in 2005 after Lance Armstrong won his 7th Tour de France:   “These kind of people should not ride with us.  For me, he’s not a man.  He’s an alien.”

Photo by Anita Ritenour

Photo by Anita Ritenour

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