Caster Semenya: ‘What I dream of is to become Olympic champion’

Caster Semenya: you may remember the name.
Perhaps you also recall the chaos, confusion and controversy that descended on an athlete who just wanted to run.
It is difficult to link the engaging 24-year-old who has granted the BBC a rare interview with the haunted athlete whose gender was questioned in front of the world.
Six years have passed since she won the world 800m title with effortless, inevitable ease. Semenya’s victory was as decisive as what followed was shocking.
“If it wasn’t for my family, I don’t think I could have survived,” she says, when recalling the incident that saw her forced to undergo a series of gender verification tests, news of which was made public by athletics’ governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations.
“I was world champion but I was never able to celebrate it. It was a joke for me. When I grew up, I grew up like that. I grew up with boys, I grew up around boys, I cannot change it.
“It was upsetting, you feel humiliated. You cannot control what people think. It is about yourself, controlling yourself – what is in you. But now I want to focus more on the future, I don’t want to go back there. What is done is done.”

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