Chinese Swimmer Fu Yuanhui Was Blatantly Honesty About Getting Her Period During The Olympics

Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui quickly won over everyone’s hearts with her quirky and totally honest facial expressions at the Summer Olympics. After the Chinese team came in fourth place in the 4×100-meter medley relay, falling short of grabbing a medal, Yuanhui talked openly about being on her period in a post-race interview. Because she was crouching down, visibly in pain, after the race, a CCTV reporter asked if her stomach hurt, and she replied, “It’s because I just got my period yesterday, so I’m still a bit weak and really tired, but this isn’t an excuse for not swimming well.”

With thousands of female athletes competing in the Olympics, some were bound to be on their periods during the competition. It’s hard enough going to work and sitting upright in an office chair while your uterus retaliates against your body, so competing in a sport just sounds terrible. The fact that female athletes are able to compete and compete well while on their periods goes to show how tough they are, but it’s rarely talked about at the Olympics or any other sporting event. Yuanhui didn’t give a single fuck about the taboo of talking about periods and her honesty helped highlight that it’s a totally normal thing no one should be ashamed of.

China National Swimming Championships - Day 6
CREDIT: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

One of the best parts about watching the Olympics is getting to know the athletes and what their lives are really like. The 20-year-old doesn’t hide her true feelings, which gives viewers an even more realistic glimpse of what Olympic athletes go through at the Games. While most athletes talk about their training, diets, and how much fun they’re having in Rio, Yuanhui shed light on the reality that not all athletes feel 100 percent when it comes time to compete, but they have to suck it up and do their best any way. There’s no rescheduling an Olympic race.

The Chinese swimming star first made the world fall in love with her when she didn’t realize she placed third in an earlier 100-meter backstroke semi-final race until a reporter told her in a post-race interview. “Whoooaah! I was so fast!,” she told the reporter who revealed her final time, letting her know she got third and not fourth. She went on to win a bronze medal in the event, and her reaction quickly became an Olympic favorite.

Someone please give Yuanhui a large pile of chocolate and a hug to help her through the rest of the week.