Athletes are often apprehensive about talking about their periods, but female athletes are slowly learning to talk about their periods and the effects they have on their performance. A Chinese swimmer, Fu Yuanhui, recently talked about having her period during the 2016 Summer Olympics. But she was careful to clarify that she was not using her period as an excuse to withdraw from competition.
Menstruation can affect an athlete’s mental health, as hormones like progesterone and oestrogen affect the brain. This can lead to anxiety about spotting or poor performance. PV Sindu, a well-known badminton player, recently commented on the mental toll that menstruation can have on an athlete. She stressed that athletes should focus on their mental health in order to perform their best.
Most sports, including basketball, football, and hockey, have periods of play. For example, a basketball game is usually divided into two halves of 30 minutes. In the NHL playoffs, a second half is played, with an additional 15-minute intermission. Other sports, including floorball and ice hockey, typically have three periods and may feature a fourth overtime period if the teams tie at the end of the third period.
Modern sports have a globalized nature, with transnational corporations seeking to market them to every consumer and market. While some sports are simply sources of pleasure, others have evolved as symbols of power and distinction.