Shortly after her victory at the 800m World Championships in Berling we added a blog post titled “What did Caster Semenya look like at school?” In this story we made the following very important comments:
“Of one thing I am convinced – if the finding is made that Caster Semenya is indeed female – she has the ability to dominate the 800m for many years to come! I feel sorry for Caster Semenya for all the outbursts around her gender. I can only imagine the emotional pressure on such a young person…”
Since this time Caster Semenya has been the centre of attention not for her major athletic achievement, but for questions and debates about gender. This attention has been from politicians, human rights movements, athletics officials, media etc.
I cannot help but ask myself how many of these people REALLY care – and how much of this has been motivated by personal greed and the attempts to either to sell magazines or newspapers – or to be seen as major role players in politics and sport? The reception at the airport and efforts to gain personal attention made me sick to my stomach – and so too the manner in which our other medallists have been pushed to the side…
If only everyone can take a deep breath, relax a bit and follow a calm and well directed effort at doing the following:
- Clearly communicating with Caster and her family the need for any medical tests.
- Not only communicating the medical tests but also provide counselling as to the possible consequences of any findings and support available.
- Facilitating clear and unambiguous communication between international and South African athletic authorities.
- Not only focus on gender and racism and discrimination – but also on the need to respect privacy on the one side – and achieve fair competition amongst all athletes on the other.
- Doing a proper investigation and implementing a protocol on how a similar scenario [media circus] could be better managed in future.
I would like to see a bit less emotional outbursts from third parties and a bit more caring! If only we could stop seeing Caster as an athletic machine of unknown gender –but as a human being – as someone who grew up with dreams of achieving something!
Irrespective of whether Caster Semenya is genetically superior or inferior for a specific gender – she will always be someone who has worked hard, practised hard and who has achieved excellently on the athletic course!
Nobody will be able to take away this sense of achievement! The Road Safety Blog would like to wish Caster Semenya the very best – we pray for her for strength, wisdom and guidance and the support of People who REALLY CARE!!
[The above photo appeared in one of the Belgium Newspapers “Heel Laatste Nieuws” commenting on our World Champion athlete!]