Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“It’s because of my period”: Olympic swimmer breaks menstrual taboo

Fu Yuanhui swimmer.jpg

Sadly, in 2016, the biological fact that women shed their womb linings once a month in order to be able to reproduce and – oh no big deal – sustain the entire human race, is something many people are ‘grossed-out’ by, or purely in denial about.

So it came as a pleasant surprise when one female athlete said ‘f*ck it’, I’m on my period.

Chinese Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui broke taboos by making a series of frank comments following a relay race.

The 20-year-old had already been making waves thanks to her funny interview responses and animated expressions



But this weekend, following the 4 x 100-metre medley relay in which Yuanhui and her teammates came in fourth place, the athlete has received even more support thanks to her post-race comments.

Crouched on the ground clutching her stomach after the race, the swimmer said that she didn't perform as well because she was on her period, telling reporters:

“I feel I didn't swim well today. I let my teammates down.

“Because my period came yesterday, I'm feeling a bit weak, but this is not an excuse.”

Fu Yuanhui

Fu Yuanhui

The swimmer has since been praised all over social media for breaking the taboo of discussing menstruation and sport.

Competing in sports during your period is not discussed often – partly due to many coaches being men. But, additionally, it is a subject rarely discussed openly in China.

According to a recent study, tampons are used in China by only 2% of women, because of cultural resistance and lack of education around periods. Additionally, the myth that using a tampon could stop women being virgins, is fairly widespread. The country’s first domestic tampon brand is said to be launching later this month.

For many Chinese women on social media, Yuanhui’s comments made them realise it was hygenic and safe to swim during menstruation. 

The news comes soon after a woman in Georgia called-out her local swimming pool in a viral Facebook post. The pool had posted a sign that read: "Dear Ladies! Do not go to the pool during periods." An ensuing backlash resulted against the misogynistic and mis-informed sign that implied swimming whilst mensutrating is unhygienic.

Related

GettyImages-587765016.jpg

“Women winning medals? Let’s just focus on their looks!”

andy-murray.jpg

Andy Murray is a reminder of the importance of male feminist allies

gabby douglas at rio 2016 olympic games.jpg

Rio 2016: Gabby Douglas “heartbroken” over online bullying

laura trott.jpg

Britain's female athletes celebrate wins at Rio 2016

alessandra ambrosio team rio.PNG

This week's best A-List Instagrams

sexual harrassment.jpg

“Why it’s time to put a stop to banter in the workplace ”

Comments

More

Clueless nearly never got made because of Hollywood sexism

As Cher would say, as if

by Jasmine Andersson
23 Jun 2017

Starbucks are hiring 2,500 refugees across Europe

by Nicola Colyer
23 Jun 2017

Man carries out flower girl duties with immense pride and solemnity

His commitment is quite something

by Amy Swales
23 Jun 2017

Shocking US law says men can finish sex if woman withdraws consent

Shocking

by Moya Crockett
23 Jun 2017

Serial fans, Adnan Syed has been given a second chance in court

New hope for Syed supporters

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

The scientific reason summer turns you into a horrible person

A new study confirms that we’re not very nice when we’re too hot

by Moya Crockett
23 Jun 2017

The 5 most surprising things I learnt from appearing on First Dates

What's it really like to appear on First Dates?

by Jasmine Andersson
22 Jun 2017

Rihanna just gave a heartbroken fan the best relationship advice

The pop star took time out to give a fan this brilliant tip

by Stylist
22 Jun 2017

First Dates fans respond to “shocking” mansplaining incident

“A frightened, insecure monkey hanging on to his patriarchal perch for dear life”

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Jun 2017

Golden rules of work happiness from Europe’s female tech leaders

From nap rooms to therapists and no overtime

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017