Hiya from London!
The Games are officially opening in only a few hours, with the Opening Ceremony kicking off tonight at 9 pm, 12 pm Pacific Time. I am very excited to be participating in these Olympics as a ‘Gamesmaker’, an Olympic volunteer. In particular, I will be working for the Language Team, interpreting from English to my mother-tongue Italian and viceversa, for the events of triathlon (Hyde Park), marathon and race-walk (The Mall) and road cycling (Hampton Court Palace, and the Mall). The first of these events will be the men competition for road cycling and take place tomorrow, Saturday, July 28th.
Meanwhile, you can read the guest blog I wrote on “Caster Semenya and athletic excellence: a critique of Olympic sex testing” for Somatosphere.
Somatosphere is a collaborative website covering the intersections of medical anthropology, science and technology studies, cultural psychiatry, psychology and bioethics.
At the Olympic ceremony tonight, Caster Semenya will carry the flag for her country, South Africa. This is the first participation in the Olympics for Caster, and she focuses on gold after finishing second last year at the World Track Championship in Daegu, Korea. The choice of Caster Semenya as a flag-runner came a bit as a surprise, when the big favorite was Oscar Pistorius, the South-African double-amputee runner who will also mark a precedent running for the first time at the Olympics. As I wrote on Somatosphere, “The choice of Caster as flag-runner goes beyond gold medal dreams for South Africa—it is a public demonstration that her country has finally made up its mind to back her up, whatever controversy will take place in London this summer concerning her supposed unfair advantage over fellow athletes“. Whichever way it goes, it is a victory for Caster Semenya after the long and harsh controversy on her gender.
Look out for her at the Women’s 800m final on Saturday, August 11th at 12 pm Pacific Time.