Chinese Olympic swimmer busts the period taboo

Social media in China is blowing up after Fu Yuanhui, who is on the Chinese women’s swimming team in Rio, openly discussed what it is like swimming on her period. 

After her team just missed winning a medal in the 4×100 meter relay, Fu explained to a reporter: 

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.

In a long-form story we published last month entitled “Bleeding on the Job: A Menstruation Investigation,” we reported about how women often don’t want to talk about how their periods affect their work, because they don’t want to seen as weaker or less capable than their male counterparts. 

For athletes, this is particularly true, since having a period can directly impact their performance. But after making these candid comments, Fu received an outpouring of support and encouragement from people on Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter. 

Read more in the New York Times.ES