Row over South African athlete’s gender reminds me of two Filipina athletes

The brouhaha over the gender of South African athlete Caster Semenya has reminded me of the Mona Sulaiman and Nancy Navalta controversies in the Philippines.

Sports Illustrated on January 2, 1967 described Mona Sulaiman as the “most controversial athlete” in the Asian Games, referring to questions about her gender.

“Still left unanswered is the question of whether Mona is a Filipino or Filipina,” wrote Marvin Zim.

About three decades later, another athlete, named Nancy Navalta, would be embroiled in a similar row.

I can’t help but wonder why such things keep happening.


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