Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui grabbed the media's attention a couple of weeks ago when she didn't realise that she'd won a Bronze medal in the 100m backstroke event. But now she's won our hearts again by frankly talking about her period post-race and breaking taboo.
She competed in the 4x100 medley relay event, and felt that she had let down her team for not performing her best. She told state broadcaster CCTV about the race.
“I don’t think I performed very well today. I feel I let my teammates down,” she said. “It’s because my period came yesterday, so I felt particularly tired – but this isn’t an excuse, I still didn’t swim well enough."
She baffled some Chinese fans by her comments as periods are relatively unspoken about there, and only 2% of Chinese women use tampons, according to a recent study. She was even accused of lying because some members of the Chinese public didn't understand how she'd gone in the water on her period.
“Someone accused Fu of lying, asking how she could have gone in the water on her period. Chinese people have prejudices about tampons — as a woman over 30, I’d been ignorant, and full of fear, about tampons until now too.” said one Weibo user.
However others took to Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter) to praise her honest comments.
"I really admire Fu Yuanhui for swimming while she was on her period – women can be affected during their periods, especially with period pain" said one user.
Another fan wrote: "It is a normal physiological phenomenon, so why can’t we mention it? Fu Yuanhui is awesome!”
It certainly is very refreshing to hear someone talk about this very natural process in public at the Olympics!
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