When Blessing Okagbare lost her wig while doing the long jump last month, as I wrote, my first thought was that as a storied athlete, it was sad that so much conversation surrounding her then, and likely in the future, would be about her hair. But after hurdler Jasmin Stowers fell while running the 110 meters this past weekend, I had a totally different thought this time: “Ok, what is really going on with these wigs?”
American runner Jasmin Stowers competed in London at the 2017 Müller Anniversary Games – IAAF London Diamond League meet over the weekend. While taking part in the women’s 100-meter hurdles race, which fellow American Kendra Harrison won, Stowers stumbled over two hurdles before taking a very scary fall. As she came down, Stowers’ wig fell off and she hit her head on the ground. She would end up with a slight concussion:
While most of us would probably want to run away (no pun intended) and hide after such a moment, Stowers handled the situation pretty well. She wrote a note on Instagram and let everyone know that she was going to keep training, keep running and wasn’t going to let the fall hold her back:
My trip to London was not a good one. I first left my book bag at the airport and lost my competition spikes, laptop, and ipad. I shook that off and started to focus on my competition. During the final round at London DL, I hit a hurdle and landed on my head. The impact was so forceful that my head bounced off the track, my hair piece came off lol and I ended up with a minor concussion. I blacked out for a few seconds and couldn’t remember what happened. People may laugh about what happened, talk about me, and doubt my success in the sport, but none of that stuff bothers me. Honestly. I am just thankful to be alive considering that I could have been paralyzed or broke something. Great things never come from comfort zones. I want to be the best so I will continue to push past my limits even if I fall 10 more times. I am a strong woman and my strength and courage comes from within myself and God. I know who I am and what I am capable of.
She also made it clear that she’s not going to let the fall keep her from wearing wigs in the future, either, saying, “No, I am not embarrassed that my wig came off. I hit my head hard and I would have expected that to happen. It is what it is. I will continue to wear wigs. I dont care. It protects my hair as I transition from relaxed to natural 😌! People are always gonna hate. They just need a little love in their life. I am truly unbothered!!!”
We’re glad to know that Stowers is doing ok and feeling much better after this weekend’s events. However, we would be lying if we pretended like we didn’t think she might be better off wearing braids as a protective style during her transition when she runs.
Still, people like what they like and they are free to. And even if she hadn’t been wearing a wig, her style of choice still wouldn’t have been able to protect her head during that fall. We just hope she knows that she would look just as good and be just as protected (and not have to think about her hair piece coming off) if she sought out an alternative.