You May Also Like

8 signs you have a summer cold, not allergies

Summer cold or seasonal allergies? These 8 signs will tell you exactly which one you’re suffering from

Do you have an a, b, c, d, type personality?

Don’t feel like you have a Type A *or* B personality? Well, C and D also exist

How a popped pimple landed one woman in the ER

This woman’s scary pimple-popping story will keep your hands off your face forever

Premenstrual syndrome bloating and healing tips

Put away the Tums: Try one of these 5 ways to reduce PMS bloating naturally instead

news about happiness

A wellness expert says *this* is the next big thing

Is chocolate milk better than sports drinks?

Science says chocolate milk has major exercise recovery cred—but is it *actually* the best option?

This Olympic swimmer is our new menstrual hero


Thumbnail for This Olympic swimmer is our new menstrual hero
Pin It
Photo: Facebook

When Chinese Olympic swimmer Fu Yuanhui told an interviewer that she had started her period the day before the competition and was suffering from cramps, people were about as shocked as they were after watching Simone Biles‘ flawless vault or Michael Phelps score his 23rd gold medal.

This is because menstruation is only just starting to seep out of tabooland (New Yorkers—remember those Thinx ads in the subway?), when it comes to public spaces and mass media, even though all women experience this monthly bodily function.

The interview took place after the 20-year-old swimmer completed the 4×100-meter medley relay and was this close to winning a medal—but was outperformed. In a post-race interview, she was crouching in pain. “Is your stomach really hurting now?” the interviewer asked Fu, who had won a bronze medal the other day in the 100-meter backstroke. “Yes, because I got my period yesterday,” she replied without missing a beat.

Though the Olympian didn’t blame her loss on her cycle. “It’s tiring, but it’s not an excuse for not swimming well,” she said.

Fu is not the first female athlete to compete on her period, of course (two words: menstrual marathoner?), but she’s the first to talk about it at a worldwide event like the Olympics. Previously, periods have been something girls and women in sports have not discussed openly, for the sake of not offending men or being viewed as weak, perhaps.

This is especially true for the Chinese, where the country is only now launching its first domestic tampon brand, according to USA Today, and where few women use tampons since it’s widely believed they can take a girl’s virginity, according to the New York Times.

As the first athlete to break the ridiculous silence that surrounds women’s monthly cycle, call Fu a pioneer of the “free the period” movement (not unlike “free the nipple“), in which we stop feeling ashamed of what’s a natural part of life. Someone get her a medal for that.

Speaking of monthly stomach pains—could hormones be behind bloating? And is there a diet that could eliminate bloating for good

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

How to keep shower curtains from sticking to you

The easiest way to keep your shower curtain liner from clinging to you, once and for all

8 signs you have a summer cold, not allergies

Summer cold or seasonal allergies? These 8 signs will tell you exactly which one you’re suffering from

Premenstrual syndrome bloating and healing tips

Put away the Tums: Try one of these 5 ways to reduce PMS bloating naturally instead

An expert says how often should I wash my face

Why it’s just as important to wash your face in the morning as at night

How to use lemongrass essential oil for cleaning

Watch your back, baking soda: This multitasking DIY cleaning ingredient is about to be *everywhere*

Is chocolate milk better than sports drinks?

Science says chocolate milk has major exercise recovery cred—but is it *actually* the best option?