South African Olympic athlete Caster Semenya has once again made headlines after she tied the knot with her long-term partner Violet Raseboya in an extravagant wedding.
However, getting so far in her relationship has not been easy as Semenya previously came under fire when her gender was questioned in 2009. The female athlete had suddenly showed significant improvement in her performance by beating her 800m best by 4 seconds at the African Junior Championships. Her rapidly improving performance and sudden change in appearance caused the International Association of Athletics Federation to question her gender, as a result of which she had to undergo a sex verification test.
Although the results were not made public, there are rumors that she has an intersex trait after which she was allowed to continue her career as a female athlete. She is known to have a condition called hyperandrogenism that naturally increases her testosterone levels, bringing them close to that of a man.
Semenya married her partner amid friends, relatives and a number of local celebrities and athletes in a lavish traditional ceremony.
The gold medalist wore a blue embroidered jacket for the ceremony while her bride wore a full-length white lace and appliqué dress. After capturing a few memorable pictures in their formal outfits, the two women changed into traditional yellow outfits for a dance at the reception.
The wedding also marked the Olympic runner’s 26th birthday, and took place a year after Semenya and her girlfriend had a traditional wedding in December 2015.
The pair posted pictures on their personal Instagram accounts and are now happily married.
It is important to note that Semenya was ridiculed and disgraced for her high testosterone levels even though it was something she had absolutely no control over. Yet, despite all the odds she has risen above all the negativity and continued to excel at sports, which is quite commendable.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Athit Perawongmetha