We live in a world where women and young girls are inspired by their social media and irrelevant celebrity ‘role models’ to buy expensive lip-kits and waist trainers so that we can conform to the norms of our society and temporarily increase low self-confidence. In my world, I choose to be inspired by women who continue to dominate their sports, smash records, come back after pregnancy and fight for their rights and the rights of women in and out of sport. So, today I am going to be sharing with you some current and inspiring female athlete news outside of Team GB, that has been trending so far this year and how this may impact on their performances at next year’s Olympic Games!
American Gymnast Simone Biles
American gymnast and 1/5 of the ‘Fab 5’ along with Ali Raiseman, Simone Biles has recently become the first woman to land the triple double in a floor routine and the double double dismount from the balance beam, so we can expect great things from her next year if she chooses to compete. In fact, Simone may just be the most decorated gymnast as she continues to dominate the sport! Though, I would expect some rumours to fly around that next year will be her last Olympics and she will leave a lasting legacy, also given that there are moves named after her now! It is not uncommon for athletes to retire at a young age or even when they’re at the top of their game, especially for sports such as gymnastics, where athletes are typically in their late teens to early twenties.
South African middle distance runner Caster Semenya
Semenya, who won gold in the 800m in London and Rio, has been in a 10 year battle with the IAAF, who have openly commented on her not being ‘100% female’, due to her high levels of testosterone and how such levels have created an ‘unfair physiological advantage over her rivals’. Semenya was ordered to take testosterone lowering drugs in order to compete and she complied with little choice temporarily, given that this is her career and she’d have to say goodbye to sponsorship deals.
However, she has appealed to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, who have told the IAAF to lift their new regulations (whereby high levels of blood testosterone need to be medically lowered for at least 6 months and then for the remainder of the athletics career) while this is taking place – meaning that Semenya could continue to compete while this is pending. Though it’s not known whether she will be ‘allowed’ or even want to compete in the 2020 Olympics next summer, without taking the lowering medication. This of course also depends on whether she wants to take the medication or even compete! In the meantime, Semenya has recently joined a South African women’s football team. In my opinion, this topic should be widely debated and my immediate questions are:
- Doesn’t this question the human rights of Caster Semenya? The level of testosterone in her body naturally occurred, so why should she be told she needs to take medication in order to lower it?
- If Semenya wasn’t winning and dominating the race, would they have made her take the drugs?
- Shouldn’t we be celebrating her rather than suppressing her?
- What about Michael Phelps? Who is also known to have a physiological advantage as a result of significantly lower levels of lactic acid build up in his body compared to his competitors; up to HALF it is reported! Lactic acid in the body prevents muscle contractions and therefore Phelps fatigues later than his rivals, yet nobody asked him to take lactic acid increasing medication! We celebrated him and allowed him to win 28 Olympic medals!
American 100m, 200m and 400m sprinter Allyson Felix
6-time Olympic gold winning American sprinter Allyson Felix has just broken one of Usain Bolt’s records and is now the most successful track and field athlete at the World Championships! After giving birth via emergency c-secion less than a year ago, Felix won another gold while competing at the Doha championships 2019, bringing her total World Championship gold medals to 12, after winning and breaking the record for the 4 x 400m mixed-gender relay! I love seeing women becoming some of the most decorated athletes in the world and I also love seeing women who dominate their sports make a come back after giving birth! I would certainly expect to see Felix compete next summer at the Olympics as I imagine she is in incredible shape. However, I would also anticipate next year’s Games to be her last. I would love to see her retire at the top of the podium!
So this is the current female athlete news that I have for you today! If you enjoyed this blog and enjoy reading all about the Olympics and the athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games next summer, consider subscribing for free to the emailing list to be notified every time I post another blog!
© 2019. Naomi Laws. All rights reserved