We’ve been watching the Olympics for over a week and it’s hard to fathom that the athletes competing aren’t super-human. The feats they accomplish, the times they set, the records they beat, it’s all been impressive to behold. There’s almost no way to fathom what these Olympians’ lives are like. They eat a different way, train a different way and likely live a different way. But the female athletes? In one particular way, they’re just like us. Just ask China’s Fu Yuanhui.
The swimmer, who tied for a bronze medal during the women’s 100m backstroke, has been a blast to watch. So we expected good things from her during Saturday’s 4×100 metre medley relay. But her team came in fourth.
After competing, the Chinese team were interviewed and the camera panned down to show Fu crouched on the ground.
According to Shanghaiist, the interview asked if the swimmer was in pain and Fu replied nonchalantly, “My period came last night and I’m really tired right now. But this isn’t an excuse, I still did not swim as well as I should have.”
— Shanghaiist.com (@shanghaiist) August 15, 2016
The swimmer’s honesty is maybe the most refreshing thing we’ve ever heard since women’s periods are still considered taboo, which baffles. But even more so in the world of sports, particularly swimming. Recently, a woman in Tbilisi, Georgia was shocked to see a sign at her fitness club’s pool instructing women not to swim while on their periods and let everyone know how ridiculous she thought it was. Because it is.
“It’s not any kind of public health risk,” gynecologist Dr. Jen Gunter told Today.com, explaining that pool water doesn’t enter a woman and flush out blood while she’s swimming. And while it’s possible that something could leak out, even past a tampon, it would be miniscule.
“To hone in on menstrual blood is ridiculous,” Gunter said, adding that there is also sweat, urine and poop, which no one seems to bat an eye at. “That is why they put chlorine in a pool, because humans secrete.”
But back to Fu. It just goes to show that no matter how godlike these athletes are, even they can’t plan their menstrual cycles around days in which they compete. They just find ways to power through. Well done, athletes. And well done, Fu. We appreciate your honesty, more than you know.
WATCH: Here are some embarrassing period confessions that will make you cringe in sympathy.