olfing pro Lydia Ko has been praised for “keeping it real” after opening up about the effect her period can have on her performance during a post-round interview.
The world golf No. 3 received plaudits for normalising the impact of periods on women in sport after a male reporter asked her about on-course treatment she had received at an LPGA event in California over the weekend.
During the event, the New Zealander was seen being stretched out by her physiotherapist midway through the final round of the Palos Verdes Championship on Sunday.
In a post-round interview, Ko was asked by Golf Channel commentator Jerry Foltz about if she was concerned “moving forward” that her pysiotherapist had to give her treatment while playing the Los Angeles tournament.
She responded: “I hope not. 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 has seen me twisted, but it felt a lot better after he came. So, yeah, there you go.”
Her answer appeared to leave Foltz flustered, before he finally says “thanks”.
The 25-year-old laughed off any awkwardness and said: “I know you’re at a loss for words, Jerry. Honesty it is.”
Following the interview, Ko received praise online for her “honest” answer and having an “awesome attitude”, while others have said she raised awareness of a rarely talked about issue.
One person said: “Great stuff ! Well done lady!! The journalist was a little disoriented but seriously though, would he be if she was talking about a bad knee or a headache, no, so what ?? Keep it real!”
Another commented: “She is awesome what a great answer”.
The interview has prompted conversations about the impact periods can have on women in sport.
Following Ko’s remarks, clinical psychologist Karen Nimmo, told New Zealand’s Today FM how refreshing it was to hear a truthful account of menstruation’s effect on performance, rather than it being hidden behind other “ailments”.
She said: “It’s really healthy that we actually mention it as a normal part of sport that has to be factored in, not just physically, but also psychologically. We have to consider that people go through cycles and we have to think about that when we are planning training and events.”“Menstrual problems are a common part of elite sport, and finally we have a gateway to discuss it,” Nimmo said. “So go Lydia, I say.”
Marama Davidson, the New Zealand Greens co-leader, also tweeted that the issue of period pain was “definitely not acknowledged enough”.
Ko finished the tournament in second place, two strokes behind winner Marina Alex.