This Olympian is our new hero for talking about how her period affects her performance 5 years ago

This Olympian is our new hero for talking about how her period affects her performance

We need more of this kind of openness and honesty.

When you're sitting at home watching these super-humans compete at the Olympics, it's easy to forget that they are real people, just like us.

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Well not exactly like us.

But their superhuman bodies go through the same things ours do.

That's why it hard to imagine women competing while on their period. As if the challenge they were about to face wasn't difficult enough, imagine cramps, headaches, and overall just not feeling like yourself.

This is what happened to China's swimmer Fu Yuanhui. When competing in the 4x100 metre medley relay race she and her teammates placed fourth.

According to the Huffington Post, Fu was in visible pain after the race.

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When she was interviewed later about race she was asked, “Your stomach must hurt a lot right now?”

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She replied:

“My period came last night and I’m really tired right now. But this isn’t an excuse, I still did not swim as well as I should have.”

We love Fu's honesty about being on her period for two reasons.

Firstly publicly speaking about this topic, which is seen as a taboo, will help to normalise something that half of the population goes through.

To see that a woman in sport is talking about an issue that affects a huge amount of sports stars is incredibly important.

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The second reason that Fu's comments deserve praise is because it actually helped educate people in China.

Many clubs and gyms ban women from swimming in pools when they are on their periods, which is incredibly unfair and completely unnecessary.

Last week this sign from a fitness club Tbilisi caused outrage.

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And this problem is reportedly just a common in China.

According to Independent.co.uk, Fu's comments about swimming while on her period made many people in China realise that it is a possible thing to do.

Users of Chinese social media site Weibo asked why there was no blood in the pool - and were told that it was because she used a tampon.

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Tampons are seldom used by people in China but this month the first domestic tampon brand was launched which hopefully means that women in China will have more freedom to do normal things like swim in a pool.

Fu speaking openly about having her period not only opened a discussion in the sporting world, but it also opened the discussion in her home country.

Fu, we salute you.