Nike honours Semenya

By Monday Blues : Monday, May 6th 2019 at 12:30 GMT +3 | Athletics
South African Athlete Caster Semenya [Courtesy]

South African Athlete Caster Semenya has joined the international cast of the new Nike “short film series” in what might be the most emotional video yet.

In the 45-second advert posted on Monday, Semenya is heard asking: “Will it be easier for you if I wasn’t so fast? Will it be simpler if I stop winning? Would you be more comfortable if I was less proud?

"That’s too bad… because I was born to do this!

“We all have a purpose, and I believe that each of us has an assignment we’re here to complete.”

Those are the sage words of the two-time Olympian and middle-distance running force Semenya. With 18 gold medals to her name, the assignment for this bold, unapologetic athlete is to never stop pushing hard — both on and off the track. We get a sense of that tenacity in “Just Do It: Caster Semenya,” a film that charts the runner’s journey to become elite, and the pivotal moments that shaped her into the athlete she is today.

Semenya’s challenge to viewers: “We have been given life, but no one can live it for you-you have to go out every day and work hard to earn it.” For 30 years, the “Just Do It” mantra has been a motivational call for athletes nationwide, across all sports, and all levels of play. To celebrate that rich diversity, Nike has developed a series of “short films” in the JDI series. “Dream Crazy” focuses on a collection of stories that represent athletes who are household names and those who should be. The common denominator: All leverage the power of sport to move the world forward.

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Along with inspirational pros — LeBron James, Serena Williams, Odell Beckham Jr, Eliud Kipchoge — in this film, you will meet incredible athletes: 29-year-old basketball phenomenon and wheelchair athlete Megan Blunk, who took gold in Rio in 2016; Isaiah Bird, who was born without legs, and at 10-years-old has become the one to beat on his wrestling team; Charlie Jabaley — an Ironman who made over his life by dropping 120 pounds, going vegan, and in the process, reversed the growth of a life-long brain tumor; and Michigander Alicia Woollcott, who simultaneously played linebacker and was named homecoming queen during her high school senior season.

Additional appearances are made by emerging professional athletes and world champions alike: Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies; Hawaiian big wave surfer Kai Lenny; American skateboarders Lacey Baker and Nyjah Huston; German champion boxer Zeina Nassar; and US Soccer’s Women’s National Team. Narrated by Colin Kaepernick, “Dream Crazy” provides encouragement to everyone who has crazy dreams and goals that may seem insurmountable.

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