Caster Semenya had the fastest time, 1:58.15, in the women’s 800m semifinals and is favored to win gold. This isn’t the kind of news that blows up into a big story, for the Olympics it’s pretty standard. Except that Semenya has been under intense scrutiny regarding her gender, starting in 2009 after her remarkable performance in the World Championships. When there were no signs of Semenya doping, the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) looked for other reasons to “explain” her progressively amazing times.
In 2009 the IAAF made Semenya, only 18 at the time, undergo a gender test. Mandatory gender testing had been discontinued since 1992, and even before then women with Y chromosomes or androgen insensitivity were allowed to compete because those conditions do not give women and unfair edge. Semenya and Indian runner Dutee Chand have hyperandrogenism, though there isn’t evidence that this condition provides an unfair edge either.
The IAAF’s test to see how high testosterone affects the body is humiliating and invasive, and not always explained to the athletes who undergo it, though the IAAF certainly spoke publicly about Semenya’s testing to the press. People have been torn about gender testing and the fairness of high T women competing, but most agree that the IAAF bungled their treatment of Semenya and the publicity it garnered.
Even if Caster Semenya differs from the typical XX woman, it’s hard to say what the test achieved and why it was administered. Though it is telling that the fifth and sixth place finishers in the World Championships said, “just look at her.” Caster Semenya is not a small or delicate looking woman; she’s also a lesbian, and not a super femme presenting one. It would seem less like Caster Semenya was singled out because of performance, which would implicate people like Katie Ledecky or Simone Biles, but because she wasn’t deemed girly enough, whatever that means.
The Olympics has had a strained relationship with appropriate gender performance from the beginning of the modern games. The general belief in 1896 was that women shouldn’t compete in sports because they were either incapable or if they proved capable, something was wrong with them. Within the last five years we have seen the IOC open sports like boxing and ski jump to women. Apparently women had to be protected from certain sports for various nebulous reasons regarding what women can and should do. (Also telling, is that synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics are still closed to men.) In making a big deal about whether or not Semenya is feminine enough to compete, the IAAF and others were choosing to make her excellence and success a sign of what’s wrong with her.
I watched Caster Semenya’s semifinal heat, and while her push to the finish line was decisive, it wasn’t the case that other competitors didn’t stand a chance. 800m requires more than raw physical power; it takes patience and discipline, which Semenya showed through out. She is a talented runner and considering everything she’s gone through, her perseverance extends well beyond the track.
Ronnie Coleman Injury – The Cost of Being a Bodybuilder
There are a lot of bodybuilding fans who consider Ronnie Coleman one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. Some people consider him as their favorite and this is not surprising especially because of the way that he looks. He has the type of physique a lot of aspiring bodybuilders can only wish for. It is well-known that the dream of all bodybuilders is to compete and win the most coveted titles available. He was able to win 8 of the IFBB Mr. Olympia before the Ronnie Coleman injury.
There are different things that Coleman has shown whenever he competed:
- Sublime Muscle Mass
- Prime Conditioning
- Aesthetic Beauty
Aside from his Mr. Olympia wins, he was able to snag a lot of IFBB wins. He has also helped other amateur bodybuilders become noticed by having his own amateur bodybuilding contest. His own product line is sought after by a lot of enthusiasts because if it would mean that they would look like him, they would surely try it. These things have occurred before the Ronnie Coleman injury.
The First Serious injury
It is already normal for bodybuilders to suffer from minor injuries here and there. These are injuries that will allow them to recover easily and sometimes these injuries are not broadcasted to the general public anymore. It was in 1996 when Ronnie had his first serious injury. He had herniated discs in his lower back. This is because of carrying 600lbs barbell.
It should be remembered that in the world of bodybuilding, the things that you do will pretty much dictate how you are going to live your life. When bodybuilders get injuries often, this is probably because they are pushing themselves too much. Bodybuilders always have control about what they will do.
The main reason why Ronnie suffered from the injury was because of his training. He did bilateral exercises that are very helpful for gaining a lot of muscle mass in a shorter amount of time but obviously, it has caused joint problems for him. He also strained his connective tissues repeatedly and this caused problems in the long run.
Another thing that caused the injury is he was unable to build up the muscles that truly matter. A lot of people think that having big muscles will make anyone stronger but this is not true. There are superficial muscles – the ones that bodybuilders try to grow and there are optimal muscles. The optimal muscles are the ones that people need in order to become stronger. Ronnie focused too much on the superficial ones to make him look perfect but he still was not strong enough.
Other Possible Causes of Injury
There are still other reasons why Ronnie Coleman injury occurred. It should be noted that the first injury is already a sign that he was doing something wrong but he still continued with the type of routine he formulated which caused the other serious injuries to happen.
- Focusing too much on inefficient exercise – There are some exercises that are meant to build up some muscle groups that do not actually need to be bulked up but these are the exercises that bodybuilders usually focus on.
- Doing inappropriate exercises – While there are some exercises that are not needed but are done anyway, there are some exercises that can contribute to injuries because they are not normal. Ronnie showed that he did a lot of inappropriate exercises though his exercise videos. From the way that he carries the barbell, you can already tell that an injury is uncanny.
- The wrong form – Although he would show that he is able to do certain types of exercises in so many reps and sets, people can look at his form and notice that it is not as perfect as it should be. The wrong form has ultimately caused the injuries to occur.
There are different injuries that Ronnie Coleman has obtained since his first serious injury in 1996. He is already 50 years old and is already showing signs that maybe the way that he obtained the muscles that he used to have was not as carefully thought out as he thought it would be. He has undergone a lot of back operations and a couple of hip replacements wherein the screws had to be changed. Last 2016, he went under another back operation that lasted for 11 hours. People are saying that this last Ronnie Coleman injury caused him to be unable to walk. He was great during his prime but at what cost will it take to become the best?
The Best Types of Martial Arts for Self – Defense
There are some people who are privileged enough to try out different types of martial arts. Some are meant for self-defense while there are also other types of martial arts that you should learn because you would like to compete with other people. Martial arts can be vital for you because of the various benefits it can provide.
You will realize that you are not the strongest person in the world. There are different things that you cannot do and you still need to have proper skills in order to do what you want. You need to check out different martial arts and see what they have to offer. There is a reason why people do not merely do just one martial art.
Here are the types of martial arts that you should learn more about in order to improve your skills in self-defense:
There are a lot of people who are aware that Karate is one of the sports to know if you want to have the ability to defend yourself. The reason why this can help you alot is it combines some punches, blocks, and kicks. A lot of people start with Karate at an early age but they start to check out other martial arts as they grow older. When it comes to Karate, you can expect a lot of power.
- Wing Chun
This is a type of martial art that is known as a style of Kung Fu. Over the past years, it has improved greatly and more people have started to learn more about it. The key to nailing this type of martial art is to choose the right instructor. If your instructor is good, you can expect that you will learn a lot from it. You have to understand the structure of this martial art and how it was formed.
This is known to be one of the most popular types of martial arts. It is known to have a rich history. According to reports, this has started in the samurai period and more and more people have learned about it over time. There were some changes that have occurred in the Summer Olympics during the year 2008 when some of the core techniques have been removed. But this is still one of the great martial arts that you can use for self-defense.
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
This is one type of martial art that needs to be mentioned. This is generally known as a sport that is known for self-defense. This martial art can be used in real life when you are already pinned on the ground. You can make use of some locks and chokes in order to make your opponent weaker. Knowing some good Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can literally save your life when you need it. There are some people who have been using this martial art as a type of sport. This may not have the usual strikes and kicks that other martial arts have.
- Krav Maga
When it comes to self-defense martial arts, you cannot create a list without Krav Maga. This is one of the most well-known defenses in the world. The Israeli Defense Forces use this as their main martial art. While this is something that used to be known by a select few, there are more people who know more about Krav Maga now. There are some changes made to it in order to make it more standard and available to people from different parts of the globe. You will learn how to incapacitate your opponent so that you can save your life. From grappling, striking, and so much more.
Consider These Things When Choosing Martial Arts to Learn
There are different things you have to consider when you are trying to choose from the types of martial arts available:
- Consider how effective the technique is for you.
- You have to think about your strengths and your weaknesses. What are some skills that you will find easy to learn?
- How fast do you need to move in order to do the various techniques?
- How simple are the movements that you have to do in order to make the technique effective?
You have to remember that aside from the types of martial arts available above, there are still a lot more that are just waiting to be learned. You can always find martial arts that will work well for you and your needs.
Olympics Day 16 Highlight – The Mongolian wrestling coaches
N0t to take anything away from the wins of the USA Men’s basketball team (would have been a fiasco they lost) or US Men’s 97kg (and 20 year old monster) Olympic champion Kyle Snyder, or the USA’s final medal haul of a whopping 121, but even the most impressive wins of these Rio Games have managed to be over shadowed by controversy or mishaps. Day 16 was no exception in extending that never-ending narrative, as the highlight for Day 16 was not necessarily a happy one for the Mongolian Wrestling team coaches.
Wrestling is the most classically Olympic of all Olympic events – being that the sport is older than dirt – and in turn, requires a certain modicum of reverence within the wrestling arena and mat. Unfortunately for Mongolian wrestler Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran, he ended up losing what he thought was a bronze medal in his match after judges penalized him for celebrating early as the clock wound down in his match.
At the end of match, it appeared that Mandakhnaran had won the bronze over Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov, as his coaches rushed to mat to celebrate, the flag of Mongolia in hand. Moments after, they were informed that the bronze was awarded to Ikhtiyor following the judges’ decision to penalize the early celebration. Understandably, the Mongolian team was incensed, and tried to challenge the penalty, but were not allowed at that point. Ganzorigiin was devastated, dropping to his knees in apparent shame and sadness, while the Mongolian coaches proceeded to strip down to their underwear in protest of the call. The removal of the coaches’ clothing was symbolic of their lack of respect for the judges and doubled as a means to express the degree of their disgust despite the language barrier.
The active protest was a product of an already questionable bout of judging during the match, and to penalize the Mongolian wrestler for early celebration knowing full well he would lose only continues to add shame to the Rio Olympics’ unsavory narrative, which will long outlast the brightest moments of the Games.
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