Caster Semenya Turns 31: Celebrating the Star Athlete’s Birthday With 8 Need to Know Facts About Her

Caster Semenya Turns 31: Celebrating the Star Athlete’s Birthday With 8 Need to Know Facts About Her

Byron Pillay
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:53 PM

Caster Semenya celebrates her 31st birthday today and to honour the South African legend, we have compiled a list of facts that you need to know about Caster.

Born in Ga-Masehlong, a village near Polokwane, Caster would go on to become a world-famous name for her exploits on the track but there's more to Caster than just athletics.

Caster Semenya, Athletics, Olympics, Runner, 800m, Sport, South Africa
Celebrating Caster Semenya's birthday with some need to know facts about the superstar. Image: Francois Nel/ Veli Nhlapo/ castersemenya800m
Source: Getty Images

1. Caster's first love is football, not athletics

It's strange to imagine that the former Olympic and World Champion may have never taken to the track had it not been for football. Caster took up running as part of her football training and fell in love with it. Her favourite team is Manchester United.

Caster also joined a women's football team in 2019 as a means of keeping fit after she was barred from competing in athletics, Goal.Com reported.

2. Semenya has won numerous titles in athletics

Caster has won two Olympic golds and three World Championships, dominating female athletics for a period of time. She has also held Junior African championships and broken South African records.

3. Caster was barred from defending her titles

In a controversial move that is still the topic of discussion today, Caster was barred from competing in the 800m and therefore unable to defend her title at the Olympics. World Athletics barred her and any female athlete with high levels of testosterone from competing in events from the 400m to the 1 500m unless they used testosterone-lowering medicine or had surgery.

The controversy escalated at the Olympics when transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard was allowed to compete but Caster wasn't, the Sowetan Live reported on.

4. Caster is bettering herself and graduated earlier this year

Caster isn't content with just being a star athlete. Earlier this year she completed her studies and achieved her Postgraduate certificate in Sports Management. Sadly the graduation ceremony was virtual but that didn't make Mzansi any less proud of her.

5. Semenya is coached by an Olympic great

Caster has always described Mozambican great Maria Mutola as a role model. Mutola also won three World Championships in the 800m event. Since 2011 Mutola has also served as Semenya's coach. Talk about working with your idols.

6. Semenya is all about giving back and runs her own athletics club

Semenya started the Masai Athletics Club in Limpopo as a means of coaching up and coming athletes from the region where she hails from. She also started the Caster Semenya Foundation which seeks to raise awareness and raise funds for local communities and campaigns.

7. Caster has a wife and two children

Semenya married her long-term partner Violet Raseboya and the couple have two children together. Family is hugely important to Caster and the couple often shares their love for their children and each other on social media.

8. Semenya's birthday coincides with her wedding anniversary

It's always dual celebrations in the Semenya household when Caster's birthday comes around. That's because she and Violet were married on her birthday. Last year she posted a beautiful tribute on her Instagram to celebrate the day.

Caster Semenya considering filing for damages against World Athletics

While Caster Semenya's struggles to continue in her favourite 800m race, after an adjustment to a study that was important to block her finally defending her Olympic title, she plans to file damages against World Athletics, Sports Brief's sister site Briefly News reported.

Greg Nott, Semenya's lawyer, called the alteration in the British Journal of Sports Medicine's (BJSM) phrasing in research about female athletes with variations in sexual development (DSD) "unfair and cynical" and the timing "shocking".

The study was a major factor in Semenya and other female DSD athletes being barred from competing in events ranging from 400m to 1 500m unless they received testosterone-lowering medicine or had surgery

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
Caster SemenyaSouth Africa