Ubuntu Business Breakfast with Caster Semenya, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott

11 April 2024

Topic: The Race to Be Myself

Olympian and World champion runner Caster Semenya offers an empowering account of her extraordinary life and career, and her trailblazing battle to compete on her own terms.

Caster is finally ready to share the vivid and heart breaking story of how the world came to know her name. Thrust into the spotlight at just eighteen years old after winning the Berlin World Championships in 2009, her win was quickly overshadowed by criticism and speculation about her body, and she became the centre of a still-raging firestorm about how gender plays out in sports, our expectations of female athletes, and the right to compete as you are.

The Race to Be Myself is the journey of Caster’s years as an athlete in the public eye, and her life behind closed doors. From her rural beginnings running free in the dust, to crushing her opponents in record time on the track, to the accusations and falsehoods spread about her in the press, the legal trial she went through in order to compete, and the humiliation she has been forced to endure publicly and privately.

Caster is the two-time women’s 800m Olympic champion, a three-time 800m world champion and a double Commonwealth Games middle distance gold medallist. When she won the Doha Diamond League 800m in 2019, it was her 30th consecutive victory over the distance. Put simply, when fit, in-form and free to run without distraction, Caster is almost unbeatable over the 800m. But these are not circumstances often afforded to her, who lives with a condition in which her body produces a much higher level of testosterone than most other women.

In 2009, on the eve of the women’s 800m World Championship final, it was revealed that World Athletics (then the IAAF) had asked her to undergo gender verification testing. Caster was permitted to compete in the final and won gold but was subsequently stopped from competing for nearly a year.

In 2011 the IAAF established official rules restricting female athletes with elevated levels of testosterone, arguing it presents an unfair advantage. From 2011 to 2019 she was locked in a cycle of appeals and court cases until the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favour of IAAF regulations stating that female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) are required to take testosterone-reducing medication to compete in track events from 400m to the mile. Her story is told with captivating speed and candour and is a searing testimony for anyone who has been forced to stop doing what they love.

If anyone can teach us all how to accept ourselves as we are, it is Caster Semenya. Under the most public of scrutiny and questioning of who she is, Caster’s message has always been “I am who I am”.

Ubuntu Members can access the recording from the event! Find out more…

Ubuntu Business Breakfast with Caster Semenya, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages and Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! by Marriott

11 April 2024

Topic: The Race to Be Myself

Olympian and World champion runner Caster Semenya offers an empowering account of her extraordinary life and career, and her trailblazing battle to compete on her own terms.

Caster is finally ready to share the vivid and heart breaking story of how the world came to know her name. Thrust into the spotlight at just eighteen years old after winning the Berlin World Championships in 2009, her win was quickly overshadowed by criticism and speculation about her body, and she became the centre of a still-raging firestorm about how gender plays out in sports, our expectations of female athletes, and the right to compete as you are.

The Race to Be Myself is the journey of Caster’s years as an athlete in the public eye, and her life behind closed doors. From her rural beginnings running free in the dust, to crushing her opponents in record time on the track, to the accusations and falsehoods spread about her in the press, the legal trial she went through in order to compete, and the humiliation she has been forced to endure publicly and privately.

Caster is the two-time women’s 800m Olympic champion, a three-time 800m world champion and a double Commonwealth Games middle distance gold medallist. When she won the Doha Diamond League 800m in 2019, it was her 30th consecutive victory over the distance. Put simply, when fit, in-form and free to run without distraction, Caster is almost unbeatable over the 800m. But these are not circumstances often afforded to her, who lives with a condition in which her body produces a much higher level of testosterone than most other women.

In 2009, on the eve of the women’s 800m World Championship final, it was revealed that World Athletics (then the IAAF) had asked her to undergo gender verification testing. Caster was permitted to compete in the final and won gold but was subsequently stopped from competing for nearly a year.

In 2011 the IAAF established official rules restricting female athletes with elevated levels of testosterone, arguing it presents an unfair advantage. From 2011 to 2019 she was locked in a cycle of appeals and court cases until the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favour of IAAF regulations stating that female athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD) are required to take testosterone-reducing medication to compete in track events from 400m to the mile. Her story is told with captivating speed and candour and is a searing testimony for anyone who has been forced to stop doing what they love.

If anyone can teach us all how to accept ourselves as we are, it is Caster Semenya. Under the most public of scrutiny and questioning of who she is, Caster’s message has always been “I am who I am”.

Ubuntu Members can access the recording from the event! Find out more…