Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui fought stigma around menstruation when she admitted to having her period during the 4×100-meter medley relay on Monday.
Yuanhui’s team came fourth in the race, after which she seemed to be doubled over in pain with cramps. “I feel I didn’t swim well today,” she said. “I let my teammates down. Because my period came yesterday, I’m feeling a bit weak, but this is not an excuse.”
Yuanhui set off the hashtag #FuyuanHuiPeriod, which had users on Sina Weibo (a Chinese social media application) discussing the health risks of a woman swimming on her period, according to BBC .
Many said they had not realised it was possible for a woman to swim during her period. “Our Ms Fu dares to say anything,” wrote one Weibo user.
“I really admire Fu Yuanhui for swimming while she was on her period – women can be affected during their periods, especially with period pain,” wrote another. “She felt guilty for coming fourth, but Fu Yuanhui we’re still very proud of you,” the fan added.
A third fan wrote,“It is a normal physiological phenomenon, so why can’t we mention it? Fu Yuanhui is awesome!”
Yuanhui has won a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke and is known for her hilarious, exaggerated facial expressions.
Twitter was full of support and admiration for the swimmer:
Just when I thought that I couldn't love her any more than I already do. I love how frank she is https://t.co/cf4cB7BM3Q— Danielle (@DanielleCoogan) 15 August 2016