Golf pro Lydia Ko had a pretty good day at the Palos Verdes Championship, finishing one-under 70 for third place. Midway through the final round, however, she was seen receiving treatment from her physical therapist. In a follow-up interview, Golf Channel reporter Jerry Foltz asked whether there was any cause for concern. Ko’s reply left Foltz speechless, per CNN. “I hope not. It’s that time of month,” she replied bluntly. Laughing, Ko added, “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 [trainer Chris Wicker] has seen me twisted, but it felt a lot better after he came. So, yeah, there you go."
Awkward silence followed before Fritz finally mumbled, “Thanks.” Ko laughed again and covered for the reporter, saying, “I know you’re at a loss for words, Jerry. Honesty it is.” That last line has since reverberated in sports media, with Golf Digest giving "kudos to Ko for treating the situation so openly." Ko, a New Zealander, also earned praise from MP Marama Davidson for "normalizing the issue of period pain." The Guardian reports that “there is growing understanding of the effects of menstruation and [PMS] on female athletes.” Some pro athletes adapt training to suit the cycle, but it's not something many people like to talk about.
In an interview with New Zealand Today, psychologist Karen Nimmo 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.” Ko, age 25, has already won 17 major LPGA tournaments, starting in 2012 at the tender age of 15. She is currently ranked third in the world. (Read more Lydia Ko stories.)