This is an appreciation post to celebrate Caster Semenya and her achievements so far.
Semenya was born in a village in South Africa called Ga-Masehlong and grew up in Fairlie. She attended Nthema Secondary School and the University of North West, studying sports science and started running as part of her soccer training.
Her first world competition was in 2008, when she took part in the 2008 World Junior Championships in the 800m. While she didn’t qualify for the finals, she would go on to win gold at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.
Semenya has since won 3 World Championship golds, 2 Commonwealth golds, and 2 Olympics golds as well as a host of junior and national gold medals.
Semenya was named South African Sportswoman of the Year Award in 2012 and received the bronze Order of Ikhamanga in 2014.
Her personal bests in the 400m, 800m, 1000m, and 1500m are also national records.
When I’m racing, I’m thinking about my own race. I’m not thinking about anybody.
I could never give up athletics. Running is what I will always do. Even if, maybe, the authorities could have stopped me from running in 2009, they could not have stopped me in the fields. I would have carried on with my running; it doesn’t matter. When I run I feel free, my mind is free.
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.
Education is the key. If you are educated, nothing can defeat you.
Semenya’s spirit in the face of everything she faces is admirable. She continues to win races even when people think she shouldn’t. I know I couldn’t do it so I have the utmost respect for her as a woman and a human being for her persistence. We all should.