This is pretty ugly…
Joanna Jozwik, a middle distance runner from Poland, is controversially claiming that it feels as though she won the silver medal in the women’s 800 meter finals at the Olympics because she was the “second white” to finish the race.
Speaking to Eurosport after the race, Jozwik didn’t hold back in her discussion of the race itself — as well as a controversial issue that was surrounding it, too.
Jozwik spoke about South Africa’s Caster Semenya, Burundi’s second-placed Francine Niyonsaba and Kenya’s bronze medalist Margaret Wambui who all finished ahead of her and the fourth place finisher, Canadian Melissa Bishop (below):
“I feel like the silver medalist. The three athletes who were on the podium raise a lot of controversy. I must admit that for me it is a little strange that the authorities do nothing about this. These colleagues have a very high testosterone level, similar to a male’s, which is why they look how they look and run like they run. It hurts a bit. I saw Melissa Bishop who was very disappointed, she improved her personal best and was 4th. It’s sad, and I think she should be the gold medalist. I’m glad I’m the first European, and the second white.”
OK, so, first off, that “second white” comment is BAD!!!
But more than that, Jozwik is talking about a “high testosterone” controversy that has been brewing around Semenya specifically for quite some time, and the Polish runner is not alone in being angry about it.
Semenya suffers from hyperandrogenism, a condition that causes women to produce excessive testosterone, making them bigger, and stronger — in other words, in some athletes’ eyes, giving them an unfair advantage in athletic competition.
Despite the controversy, Olympic officials have allowed Semenya to compete as a woman. Semenya won the 800 meter race going away, and it wasn’t just Jozwik that didn’t feel very good about it.
For what it’s worth, Niyonsaba and Wambui do NOT suffer from hyperandrogenism — so the fact that Jozwik threw them in that quote, too, is just straight bitterness at losing (and some pretty obvious racism).
BTW, Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp, who finished sixth, also questioned the decision to allow Semenya to compete, saying after the race:
“I have tried to avoid the issue all year. You can see how emotional it all was. We know how each other feels. It is out of our control and how much we rely on people at the top sorting it out. The public can see how difficult it is with the change of rule but all we can do is give it our best.”
Watch Sharp break down in tears (below) thinking about Semenya running — and winning — the event for which the Brit has trained so hard (below):
What do U think about this controversy, though, Perezcious readers?!
Let us know in the comments (below)!
[Image via Joanna Jozwik/Instagram.]