Y’all already know Fu Yuanhui. She’s quite literally the most adorable Olympian that’s ever existed, and we posted about her eternal wonderfulness HERE. 

She’s won the hearts of millions across the world with a few precious post-race interviews, during which reporters had to inform her she’d won medals/broken world records because the swimmer was somehow completely oblivious to her own success. 

Now, Yuanhui has managed to win us over even more (a feat that we deemed impossible) by firmly and without hesitation providing the world with information about her menstrual cycle. 

She spoke out because she didn’t do so well in the 4 x 100 relay medley event. The poor thing was found crouched behind a board, doubled over in pain, then proceeded to tell an interviewer it was due to her riding that glorious (but often painful) ~crimson wave~:

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

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.”

China is obviously an extremely traditional place, and we’d wager speaking on camera about ya menses is probably, uhh… not so chill there, particularly with older generations.

Even tampons are relatively unspoken about in China – to the point that they are barely used. According to one industry survey, only 2% of Chinese women use tampons, compared to approx 33% of Aussie women

Tampons are literally so unknown that after Yuanhui‘s statement, she was accused of lying because Chinese people were confused ‘how she went into the water if she had her period’. 

However, Yuanhui is not just facing cultural taboos – the subject of menstruation is spoken about very, very rarely by sportswomen everywhere around the globe, and understandably so. 

Despite the fact that periods are something that affect most cisgender women, many worry that relating performance problems to menstruation would set a dangerous precedent for others to use it as blaming tool for all bad sporting performances by women.

It’s not hard to imagine uninformed commentators blaming all lacklustre performances on the dreaded/delightful Aunty Flo, and saying reductive crapola like, “Well, Serena Williams is having a shocker – clearly she’s on her period!” 


Our Fave Olympian Fu Yuanhui Shuns Taboo, Tells The World ‘Bout Her Period

Annabel Croft, a former British tennis #1 spoke out about Heather Watson talking about her period after being knocked out of the Australian Open last year, saying, 

“No one ever talks about it. I don’t remember anyone talking about sportswomen like that. It was one of those things that was all hushed up. 

I remember being on court feeling dizzy, disorientated, tearful, then coming off court, going into the locker room, and finding my period had started – and realising, ah, that’s why I was all over the place.”

Crazy, right? Talking about a normal bodily function in 2016 shouldn’t be so precariously stigmatised that it goes completely unspoken about. But unfortunately, it is. 

So, Fu Yuanhui might have broken a taboo without even really realising the gravity of what she’d just said. But bloody hell – she’s made an important statement, and good on her for it. 

Our Fave Olympian Fu Yuanhui Shuns Taboo, Tells The World ‘Bout Her Period

Source: BBC

Photo: Clive Rose / Getty. 

Our Fave Olympian Fu Yuanhui Shuns Taboo, Tells The World ‘Bout Her Period