Golfer Lydia Ko leaves bashful reporter speechless after mentioning her period

Golf star Lydia Ko is receiving plaudits for being brilliantly candid about her period pains, leaving a reporter speechless at the Palos Verdes Championship.

Ranked number 3 on the LPGA tour, the 25-year-old is a rising star in women’s golf. Her 232,000 Instagram followers are great exposure for a sport that is definitely gaining fans.

The New Zealand golfer has enjoyed success following her Tour debut in 2013. Ko has 17 LPGA Tour victories, including two majors. Furthermore, she has won Olympic Silver and Bronze medals at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 games respectively.

Despite some tough recent results, Lydia Ko was in a solid position heading into the final round of the Palos Verdes championship last weekend.

The Palos Verdes Championship

America’s Marina Alex won the California-based championship, taking a one-stroke victory over Jin Young Ko. Alex finished ten-under 274 to take home her second LPGA Tour title.

Meanwhile, Lydia Ko finished a respectable third, two strokes behind the victor. It was an impressive performance, considering that Ko was playing through pain in the final round. The New Zealander had received treatment from her physio midway through her round, apparently to rectify a tight back.

Golf Channel reporter Jerry Foltz enquired about the treatment – Ko’s answer certainly taking him by surprise.

Lydia Ko keeps it real about her period

When asked if her injury issues were likely to be of any concern in the long run, Ko gave a great and honest response.

“I hope not,” said the Kiwi, quotes from the Guardian. “It’s that time of the month.

“I know the ladies watching are probably like, ‘yeah, I got you’. So, when that happens, my back gets really tight, and I’m all twisted. It’s not the first time that Chris (Wicker, her physio) has seen me twisted, but it felt a lot better after he came. So, yeah, there you go.”

Taken aback by the candid answer, the journalist simply said “thanks” after a pause. Lydia Ko joked about the awkwardness resulting from mentioning her period. “I know you’re at a loss for words, Jerry,” she said.

The casual way Ko spoke about the natural occurrence drew widespread praise.

Ko receives admiration

The New Zealander’s comments earned plaudits for the way in which they normalise what was previously considered a taboo subject.

ESPN reporter Zenia D’cunha commended the golfer on Twitter.

“Good stuff from Lydia Ko,” wrote D’cunha. “We should normalise women in sports talking about periods like this. It’s not an excuse or an embarrassment, it’s just a bodily function.”

In a similarly positive message, forensic pathologist and MedPage Today columnist Judy Melinek M.D. admired Ko’s interview.

“Love this! Let’s normalize talking about our periods,” tweeted Melinek.

Although a common bodily occurrence, periods are not regularly discussed when it comes to athletic performance. However, ever-increasing research into their effect has gathered pace in recent years. Research suggests that the menstrual cycle does impact performance in sports. Periods may also increase the risk of injury.

The open manner in which Lydia Ko, as a world-class athlete, spoke about her period pain will hopefully be a catalyst for the normalisation of the topic.

Featured image credit: Getty