“This isn’t talked about enough in sport” | Athlete receives praise for opening up about period pain

jazmin sawyers period pain
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A British Olympic athlete has received praise for opening up about period pain.

Jazmin Sawyers, who was a finalist in the long jump at the 2016 Olympics, had to pull out of an upcoming Boston competition due to crippling period pains.

She has spoken out about the issue, saying it “isn’t talked about enough in sport”, and urging girls that they are “not alone.”

Writing on Twitter, Sawyers said, “I wasn’t going to give an explanation online about why I pulled out of yesterday’s competition but this is something that isn’t talked about enough in sport, and ought to be.”

“About an hour before I was supposed to leave for the track I came on my period – I get very bad periods for the first one to two days.”

“Can’t walk, intense pain radiating down my legs, head spinning, fully body sweating, shouting, crying kind of bad.”

“Five minutes before leaving for the track all of the above happened.”

“If you don’t have periods, or don’t have them this bad, it’s hard to imagine why I can’t just suck it up and compete.”

“This happens almost every month.”

“Last month I almost missed a flight because I couldn’t drive with the pain, and last year I was only able to compete in the qualification round of the Olympics due to a whole load of painkillers, and still felt awful.”

“It’s something I’ve been working with medical staff to fix, but we haven’t yet found a solution.”

“We discuss injuries and illness openly, but this is something we don’t talk about and I wanted to put it out there because I’m sure there are other young athletes dealing with it.”

“Girl, I believe you when you say how bad it is – you’re not alone.”

Sawyers received an influx of praise across various social media channels, with many coming forward to say they had experienced the same symptoms.

Sawyers call for this taboo to be spoken about more comes just days after Menstrual Hygiene Day, and the announcement that Plan International UK are aiming to end menstrual stigma through the introduction of a ‘period emoji’.

Despite the efforts of many to end menstrual stigma, it was recently reported that a US model claimed that she was fired from a job because she got her period whilst working.

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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