South African middle-distance runner Mokgadi Caster Semenya, born on January 7, 1991, is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. In 2009, Caster Semenya’s gender became the subject of an international uproar.
Caster Semenya is a professional middle-distance runner who has competed in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and World Championships.
She won two gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Besides that, she is the recipient of several gold medals.
Likewise, she also ran in African championships and games. Semenya has managed to garner massive success in all of the competitions.
Caster is one of the best runners and was deemed too fast to be a woman.
The doubts about her sex rose when she beat her previous record and made quick improvements. Hence, the IAAF ordered a sex verification test.
The test request came right after she won gold at the 2009 World Championship. Although the request was confidential, some sources leaked the information.
As a result, Caster received overwhelming media and public attention.
Recently she entered in 5000 m race at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Before getting into details about the gold medalist runner’s life and career, here are some quick facts about her.
Caster Semenya | Quick Facts
|Full Name||Mokgadi Caster Semenya|
|Birth Date||January 7, 1991|
|Birth Place||Pietersburg, South Africa|
|Father’s Name||Dorcus Semenya|
|Mother’s Name||Jacob Semenya|
|Age||32 Years Old|
|Height||5 feet 10 inches, (177 cm), (1.77 m)|
|Weight||70 kg (154 lbs)|
|Country Representation||South Africa|
|Events||800 meters, 1500 meters|
|Sexual Orientation||Intersex Cisgender Woman|
|Net Worth||$2 Million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||The Gentlewoman Magazine Issue 21, The Run For Life – Kindle Edition|
|Last Update||March 2023|
Caster Semenya | Early Life, Family, And Education
Caster Semenya, the Olympic gold medalist, was born in Pietersburg, South Africa. Her parents are Dorcus Semenya and Jacob Semenya.
She grew up in a vast, loving family with five siblings. Her parents were very supportive of her career choice since the start.
They encouraged her to participate and be involved in sports. The athlete was very active and energetic as a kid.
Hence, she channeled her energy into soccer and other activities. Cobra attended Nthema Secondary School, where she played soccer.
The runner was the only girl on the school’s soccer team. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop her from playing and doing as her heart said.
Besides that, kids in the school often teased her for her muscular physique. Many people in the school, including the headmaster, thought that she was a boy.
However, she didn’t let the negativity get to her and kept exploring her potential. The gold medalist often describes herself as a fearless kid.
After completing her high school education, Caster joined a public college, the University of North West, to pursue sports science.
Caster Semenya | Age, Height, And Weight
The distance runner is 32 years old as of 2023.
As an athlete, she is energetic and conscious about her diet and health.
Caster is widely believed to be an intersex athlete meaning having both the sex. She is born as a female having XY chromosomes and naturally has higher testosterone levels.
Hence, she works out and trains daily. As a result, the athlete leads a healthy life. She is 1.7 m tall and weighs about 154 lbs.
Caster Semenya | Track And Field Career
The athlete started her career when she was 17 years old. She competed in the 2008 World Junior Championships.
However, the runner failed to qualify for the event. Nevertheless, she won a gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games.
The following year, the gold medalist improved her time and became faster than ever.
She won several events and broke records at the African Junior Championships. Besides that, Caster won a gold medal at the World Championships.
With the win, the South African had the fastest time in the 800 m race. A popular sports magazine voted Semenya the Number One Women’s 800-meter runner.
Her quick improvements led officials to do a drug test. Nonetheless, when the drug test came negative, IAAF requested the runner to do a sex verification test.
As a result, she had a slow start in 2010. She also missed the Commonwealth Games due to injuries.
Correspondingly, Semenya maintained a low profile in the 2011 World Championships.
She finished second in the finals. But the officials banned the winner Mariya Savinova for doping and handed her gold medal to Cobra.
Olympic Win And Gold Medals
The runner represented her country in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Initially, she won a silver medal for her country after losing to Savinova.
But as the CAS disqualified the Russian athlete for drug violations, Semenya was awarded the gold medal. The athlete came back stronger and better in the 2016 season.
Cobra became the only person to win the 400 m, 800 m, and 1,500 m races at the South African National Championships.
She also won the gold for her country in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She won gold and bronze in the 2017 World Championship.
Her progress led officials to believe her wins weren’t fair. She had high testosterone levels, so many thought it affected her victories.
Caster returned to the 2018 World Championship following some ongoing legal battles. The runner won gold at both the 800 m and 1,500 m races.
She also won gold medals at the African Championship and the Continental Cup.
As per IAAF’s new rules, she wasn’t allowed to compete with her high testosterone levels. Hence, she joined the South African SAFA Sasol Women’s League.
Semenya competed in the 200 m race at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after being banned from the 400 m to one-mile race.
After 2017, she entered a major competition in 2022.
Semenya didn’t get the first position, as she finished a minute behind the first place in the 5,000 m race at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Caster Semenya | Gender Testing
In 2009, the elite player won the 800 m race in the World Championship. She beat her personal best by four seconds.
Due to her quick improvements, doubts regarding her sex surfaced. Amidst all the rumors and speculations, the IAAF demanded a sex verification test.
On top of that, the runner’s physical attributes didn’t help her. The test request was supposed to be confidential.
However, a leak gave the public access to some of her results and medical records.
Additionally, the breach of confidentiality resulted in several inconsiderate reactions and comments.
The Athletics South Africa president admitted to keeping Semenya in the dark.
She had no idea about the motive behind the tests. Besides that, many people called out the IAAF for its racist and sexist behavior.
The test wouldn’t have been conducted on a male athlete who had made rapid improvements. To explain themselves, the IAAF said it didn’t speculate Caster of cheating.
Instead, they wanted to check whether she had a “rare medical condition” that gave her an “unfair advantage.”
Under the sports minister’s counsel, the gold medalist received free legal advice from the Dewey & LeBoeuf law firm.
Caster Semenya | Controversy, Testosterone Rules, And Legal Battle
In 2014, the IAAF suspended an Indian athlete Dutee Chand. They stated that her hyperandrogenism condition made her ineligible to compete as a female athlete.
Likewise, they also suggested lowering testosterone levels with birth control pills, hormone shots, or surgery.
Nevertheless, Chand appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. As a result, CAS allowed her to compete, citing a lack of evidence.
They also suspended the IAAF’s hyperandrogenism or high natural levels of testosterone policy.
They gave IAAF 2 years to prove that testosterone increased female athletic performance.
In 2018, the organization announced “differences in sex development.” The rule would mandate women with hyperandrogenism, or high testosterone levels, take medications to lower it.
There were very few athletes whom the rule affected. So, there were talks that the IAAF made the rule to attack Semenya.
The gold medalist appealed the decision in CAS and the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.
However, they favored IAAF’s policy despite acknowledging that it was discriminatory.
Nonetheless, Caster hasn’t given up hope and announced that she would appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
She took birth control pills to lower her testosterone level upon IAAF’s instruction. But the pills made her sick and caused fevers.
She elaborated on how it affected her confidence and self-esteem.
Cobra also stated that she would walk away if she had to. Moreover, the athlete reflected upon the bigotry and sexism.
She explained how when a man performs higher, he is praised, but a woman is considered a problem.
Clash With Lawsuit
It required over two months to arrive at this decision – demonstrating the awareness and intricacy of the case.
Allies of Semenya contend that the sprinter has been punished just because of the organic characteristics she was brought into the world. She has not cheated or been viewed as taking execution-improving medications.
Kyle Knight, a specialist in the LGBT privileges program, said that taking the proposed IAAF testosterone suppressants would be as “embarrassing as it is medicinally pointless” for female competitors whose chemical levels are outside acknowledged limits.
Although Caster Semenya lost her discrimination lawsuit against the International Association of Athletics Federation after it was determined that requiring competitors with high testosterone levels to lower them was “discriminatory but necessary.”
Caster Semenya | Marriage, Wife, And Child
Cobra is married to Violet Raseboya. She is an athlete and runner like her wife. Besides that, she is also from South Africa.
Initially, the couple had their first interaction in 2007 at a restroom. Semenya was being escorted by doping officials when Raseboya mistook her for a boy.
She questioned the officials about why a boy was in a female restroom. The gold medalist immediately took offense and replied that she was not a boy.
Their short and heated argument turned into love pretty quickly. However, Violet was not ready to accept that she was attracted to women.
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She was confused as she had previously dated a boy. Despite the confusion, she couldn’t hide the fact that she had feelings for Caster.
Hence, as love is love and sees no gender, the two emerged as a couple. They received a lot of criticism and scrutiny for their relationship.
Nevertheless, they continued to cross every hurdle hand in hand. Finally, the pair got married in a beautiful ceremony in 2015.
The couple also had a luxurious second wedding in 2017. Furthermore, the two-time gold medalist and wife have been pretty open about having children.
The athlete has also expressed how she’d love to have twins, as Raseboya is a twin.
Eventually, the two announced their pregnancy through social media. Currently, they are the parents of two adorable little girls; Oratile and Oarabile Semenya.
Their first daughter was born on the 5th of July 2019, and their second daughter Oarabile was born in 2021, just last year.
Caster Semenya | Net Worth And Salary
The gold medalist has earned most of her wealth by participating in events. Although her net worth estimation is $2 million, many sources claim it to be higher.
The queen of 800 m races is trendy and is well-sponsored by reputed companies. Popular sports apparel brand Adidas sponsored her initially.
Currently, Nike endorses the dominant face of the track and field world. Moreover, Wiphold Investment Trust proudly sponsors Semenya.
She is also powered by the Bridgestone & Discovery company.
Furthermore, she is the founder of the Caster Semenya Foundation.
In 2009, the Limpopo government awarded Semenya and her family a house to honor her achievements.
Football was Semenya’s, first love.
She runs an athletics club as well as a foundation.
Semenya is a family-oriented person and believes in sticking to her roots.
An Olympic champion mentored her.
Semenya was motivated by Nelson Mandela’s wisdom and LeBron’s support
She dominated the World Championships at a young age.
The International Association of Athletics Federations tested Caster for gender verification.
Caster Semenya | Social Media Presence
The runner is active on various social media platforms. She has a huge fan base because she is one of the most elite faces in the sports world.
Hence, she has an Instagram with 219 k followers. She usually posts about running and track. Moreover, the runner has several photos in her running apparel.
She recently celebrated her sixth anniversary with her wife, Violet Raseboya. Cobra also shares adorable photos with her wife and beautiful daughter.
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Besides that, the gold medalist is on Twitter with 420 k followers. She is relatively more active on her Twitter account.
Caster mostly tweets sports and running-related news through the platform. She also promotes Nike and her other sponsors.
She is a very dominant figure in track and field. Hence, she is photographed at several functions and events.
On top of that, many celebrities and well-known athletes follow her. Some of them are NBA player LeBron James and singer Justin Beiber.
The Search Graph
Her graph also illustrates that Caster Semenya is fairly famous among sports geeks.
If we talk about her rise at the beginning of 2022, that is due to her entry in the 5,000 m at the world championship.
Is Caster Semenya still running?
Yes, the athlete is still running. However, as she refuses to take medications to lower her natural testosterone levels, she can’t compete in the 400 m to one-mile race.
Recently, she ran in the 200 m race at the Tokyo Olympics. However, Semenya is currently fighting against the IAAF’s 2018 testosterone rule and isn’t running as much as usual.
Is Caster Semenya’s documentary available on YouTube?
Yes, Caster has her documentary, and you can easily find the athlete’s documentary on YouTube.
Does Caster Semenya have a child?
The runner welcomed a daughter with her wife, Violet, earlier in 2020. The couple hasn’t revealed their daughter’s name and face for privacy reasons.
Is Caster Semenya’s wife pregnant?
Yes, Caster Semenya’s wife, Violet Raseboya, is pregnant with baby number two. The couple shared the exciting news on social media, saying.
“Ten little fingers, ten little toes. With love and grace, our family grows. This precious soul that God decided to bless us with. We all can’t wait to meet YOU!”
How many times did Caster Semenya win gold?
Caster Semenya is a two-time women’s 800 m Olympic champion, a three-time 800 m world champion, and a double Commonwealth Games middle distance gold medallist.
When did Caster Semenya have her makeover?
In 2009, Catster Semenya had her makeover as a cover girl for a photoshoot for You magazine, which is a popular South African magazine.