— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) September 10, 2018
Following the release of the Nike ad, “Dream Crazy”, starring former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, a second Nike ad has surfaced this week starring South African 800m runner Caster Semenya.
Semenya is coming off of an extremely successful season, running an 800m personal best of 1:54.25 in the Paris Diamond League. She followed that up with seven Diamond League wins, and another three wins at the Continental Cup that took place over the weekend.
Semenya’s success on the track has sparked controversy in regards to its legitimacy. After her 2009 win at the world championships, she was temporarily suspended from competition and forced to undergo gender testing, and her career has been clouded by controversy ever since.
The most recent IAAF ruling on hyperandrogenism and the female category in track and field states that, “women racing distances between 400m and the mile must adhere to a new upper limit for testosterone of five nanomoles per litre.” In Semenya’s case, this rule would mean having to take medication to bring her hormone levels down, compete against men, or move up to distances longer than the mile. The rule takes effect in November of this year.
The video in Semenya’s tweet says, “Would it be simple if I stopped winning? Would you be more comfortable if I was less proud? Would you prefer I hadn’t worked so hard?”
The ad finishes with, “That’s too bad. Because I was born to do this.” Semenya’s ad part of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.