Two-time Olympic 800 meter champion Caster Semenya has been dominant on the track, debated and, at times, insulted off of the track. She has been a centerpiece of the discussion at the intersection of science, medicine and athletics for women; a discussion that has Semenya on the sidelines of her chosen sport, and now building a career in a new sport.
Yet in the middle of this maelstrom, we’ve rarely heard from the woman herself — until now.
On November 18, Nike unveiled its newest web feature, “Birthplace Of Dreams,” where Semenya takes us on a tour of her beginnings in rural Limpopo state in northeastern South Africa. Her journey began at a dusty cinder track in the state’s capital of Polokwane, and continued to her becoming one of the premier middle distance talents in track and field history.
In the short film, she delves into some of her deep personal history, including growing up, as she puts it, “different from the other kids,” being buoyed by a loving family, and her ascendancy to Olympic championship. She also opens up about what she’s doing now, which includes the creation of a youth athletics collective in South Africa named Masai AC.