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caster-semenya-pic-you-getty-769572946It must be tough being South African track star Caster Semenya.

Instead of carrying yourself like a sex goddess (like so many in the limelight), Caster is under the inverse predicament: Track and field officials apparently think she’s a man.

She even had to take a gender test to validate her gold medal, in the 800M sprint last month.
Just this week a South African publication — You Magazine — hired a stylist to make Caster over and published the photos for her critics to finally see what we already now.

Caster Semenya is a woman. A strong, proud young black woman. Now, she may have style issues, but at 18 years of age, who didn’t?

“I’d like to dress up more often and wear dresses but I never get the chance,” she told You. “I am who I am and I’m proud of myself.”

But why did she even have to be subjected to the Hatorade? While here in the USA she’s not as widely known, the controversy is huge in Europe, where many world track athletes are household names.

After Caster thoroughly demolished the competition at the World Athletics Championships, race officials, spurred on by Semenya’s opponents, incredulously alleged that she was of the male gender.

To make matters worse, her coach Wilfred Daniels resigned this week, saying that he felt bad that he had Caster take a gender exam that was misrepresented to her as a doping test. Daniels told the Associated Press “there’s only one way for me to deal with this, and that was to say sorry and walk away.”

Daniels said the whole ordeal was unfair to Caster and that he should have told her about the media spectacle that was about to hit. He said the right thing to have done was to pull her to the side and tell her “this is what’s going to happen, this is how gender verification tests are done, these are your rights,” he said. “Those are the kind of issues that we didn’t explain to her.”

What’s more telling is that the he IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, could publicly humiliate a black woman and there not be the slightest outrage among the populace.

To silence her critics, Caster did the photoshoot that shows off a new hairdo. Caster has displayed incredible humility and courage through the whole controversy.

“I see it all as a joke, it doesn’t upset me,” she said in the magazine. “God made me the way I am and I accept myself”.

It’s a shame a sister had to get a makeover to silence her critics. Many black athletes in the track world, including retired sprinter Michael Johnson, have criticized racing officials over the incident.

Her poor parents did all they could to convince people that their 18-year-old daughter was in fact a girl.

“She is my little girl. I raised her and I have never doubted her gender. She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times,” father Jacob Semenya was quoted as saying.

After winning the gold in the 800M race, it was reported that Semenya said privately that she considered boycotting the medal ceremony. She went through with it, but has become an example of quiet strength for many young women.

As for her detractors, they’ll have to eat dust.

[photo credit: www.mirror.co.uk]

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  • Nikki

    It’s so unfortunate that all of Semenya’s business has been broadcasted so publicly.

  • Sibele Silva

    It’s a shame what some people have to go throught to prove themselves. Caster is a remarkable and strong black woman, it makes me sad that she was so exposed. She diserves better than that.

  • Nyota

    It seems to me that this young woman was basically exploited by the people around her. They knew something was off but failed to go through all the tests to put the case to rest until she reached Berlin. All of a sudden her coach quits because he lied to her it was a doping test and not a gender test? That’s just horribly wrong because I don’t believe Caster actually had the intent to cheat, she was just running a race that she had trained hard for.
    I keep reading on other sites that her parents should have known. Unfortunately, they most likely didn’t, they obviously saw her differences but instead socialized her as a girl, because its obvious she has a vagina if she didn’t this ordeal would have been over a long time ago. In small rural villages theres no looking deeper at a child’s genetics when they are born if they are healthy children.
    I can imagine what this must be like for an 18yr old to go through what has happened to her in the past few months and even moreso on the world’s stage. Her coaches need to be the first ones apologizing.

  • Dannie

    If the tracker was white, would this have happened. Once again racism at his worst.

  • shantep

    Everybody is assuming that Caster Semenya has a vagina and done of the reports have confirmed that. The reports did not confirm a penis nor mention one nor did they confirm a vagina nor mention one. What the reports state is that she has internal testes (her balls are tucked up inside her). This procedure is common for men who have had a sex change operation, where they create some sort of pseudo vagina after castration and move the testes inside that cavity. Sounds very familiar in this person’s case. The official report/finding will be out in November and I guess at that point they will determine if she will keep her metal.