#HandsOffCaster Trends, as South Africans back Caster Semenya
The Rio Olympics has been filled with so much drama thus far. Another controversy brewing is about South African athlete, Caster Semenya, who is believed to be intersex. The 25-year-old middle distance runner has had controversy trailing her over her hyperandrogenism condition.
Semenya had undergone gender testing after winning gold at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. She was later cleared to compete in 2010. Semanya was actually sidelined for 11 months while the tests were being carried out. Twitter republic went ablaze with about 17000 tweets with #HandsOffCaster. It trended in South Africa over the past weekend.The move was powered by South Africans, who wanted to defend their middle-distance runner from continuous questions over whether she should be exempted from racing in Rio.
Funny enough,the tag #HandsOffCaster dates back to the London 2012 Olympics. To think that it is trending again. It actually started over the weekend following two magazine publications in the United States. One article had the headline -Is it fair for Caster
Semenya to compete against women at Rio? while another was a conversation between author Malcolm Gladwell and editor Nicholas
Thompson for the New Yorker.
Jean Verster, the coach and manager of the runner placed her on strict media ban. However, Semanya had manage to let her voice be heard on the matter while in Rio. She had said:
”I am not a fake. I am natural. I am just being Caster. I don’t want to be someone I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be someone people want me to be. I just want to be me. I was born like this. I don’t want any changes.”
Fikile Mbalula,the Sports Minister of South Africa has encouraged ongoing campaigns particularly on social media to support Polokwane- born Semenya as she’s tipped to win a gold medal in the ongoing Olympics.