Caster Semenya was welcomed home by cheering crowds at the airport. See video of Caster Semenya’s welcome home along with pictures here.

Caster Semenya

Despite the controversy surrounding her gold medal win, one thing was clear among the people of South Africa; she is a hero.

Hundreds greeted the world champion athlete, upon her arrival in South Africa, carrying signs and screaming for her. Though she held her medal, she did not speak during her press conference, or at the airport in Johannesburg.

She was embraced by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the ex-wife of the former president Nelson Mandela, as “my grandchild”.

“She’s not going to talk to you. She has been traumatized,” Leonard Chuene, the president of Athletics South Africa, said. “Can you imagine … she has faced a hostile media. I am traumatized myself.”

Caster’s gender is being questioned, prompted by Semenya’s deep voice, masculine physique, and dramatically improved performances. But officials from Athletics South Africa have dismissed the gender investigation.

The South African minister of sport and recreation had written to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to state “our disappointment at the manner in which the body has dealt with the matter. It is one thing to seek to ascertain whether or not an athlete has an unfair advantage over others, but it is another to publicly humiliate an honest professional and competent athlete.”

The results of the gender test, will be carried out by a gynecologist, an endocrinologist and a psychiatrist, and may not be made public for several weeks.

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