We’re on the edge of history.
February will see the USA Olympic trials, and for the first time ever, in the women’s division, a dude will take a shot.
From Sports Illustrated:
[Megan Youngren] is set to make history on Feb. 29 as the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.
Here’s how SI sketched it out:
On Dec. 8, 2019, 28-year-old Megan Youngren became one of 63 women at the California International Marathon to officially qualify for the 2020 U.S. Olympic marathon trials, the race that will determine the team for Tokyo. Her 40th-place finish in 2:43:52 came as both a relief and a reward, after four months of intense training.
As reported by the Anchorage Daily News, Susan Hazzard — head of communications for USA Track & Field — noted the newsworthiness:
“We have not had a transgender athlete compete in our Olympic trials or U.S. championships that I’m aware of,” said Hazzard, who has been with USA Track and Field for 20 years.
But Megan says anyone who thinks it’s a cakewalk is sorely mistaken:
“People will try to put it down by saying, ‘That’s too easy because you’re trans.’ But what about the 500 other women who will qualify? There’s probably someone with the exact same story. I trained hard. I got lucky. I dodged injuries. I raced a lot, and it worked out for me. That’s the story for a lot of other people, too.”
Of course, Youngren has an advantage.
Presently, the International Olympic Committee requires men competing in the women’s division to keep their testosterone levels below a certain number.
However, testosterone levels on the day of a race — or months before it — aren’t the only one-ups that men have.
Speaking to The Daily Caller News Foundation, former Olympic cross-country skier observed such last September:
“Once a male body has gone through puberty, they have received the benefits. So the skeletal form, lung capacity, muscle density, the greater length of levers in their body, their muscle-to-weight ratio, their capacity to deal with dehydration much better, narrower hips, I mean you name it — they are physiologically designed differently than women. We invest so much money into keeping sports fair, and this blows the cap off of it. Every woman’s record in sports will fall.”
Here’s Joe Rogan with the add-on:
“There’s a reason why we make the distinction to have male athletics vs. female athletics. The reason is that males have a physiological advantage over women. … [I]f you’re a women, and you’re a natural woman, and you don’t take any extra hormones or male hormones, you’re not taking steroids or any sort of performance-enhancing drugs, you’re doing your very best to compete and you’re at the top of the heap, and someone comes along and they were a man for 30 years, and decides they’re going to be a woman…and competes as a woman and destroys records and dominates you in that sport, that’s bull****. … That’s a person who is biologically a male, and who was a male for 30+ years of having testosterone run through their body and affect their tendon strength, and affect the shape of their bones and the mechanical advantages of the male hips vs. the female hips, and then they’re competing with smaller people who have been a woman their whole life. It’s not fair. It is as much cheating as taking steroids when the other person doesn’t or taking performance-enhancing drugs when the other person doesn’t. Maybe even more so. Maybe even more so, because you also have — there’s a bunch of advantages in terms of reaction time that males enjoy. It’s some significant difference in reaction time between males and even untrained males vs. female professional athletes.”
Will the Olympic committee eventually adjust its criteria due to the above considerations?
In what situation would someone’s sense of identity be worth taking away a Gold, Silver, or Bronze — and, subsequently, a potentially lucrative career — from a girl who’s spent her whole life aimed toward victory over her fellow females?
Personally, I’m a big believer in self expression. We each have only one life, and I applaud every individual’s pursuit of living according to their greatest dreams.
Being that athletics is, at its core, medical, it seems to me the gigantic physiological differences between the sexes were great reasons for the establishment of sex-specific competition.
But that looks to be going the way of the dodo bird.
28-year-old Megan Youngren — a guy who began taking hormones in 2011 — is psyched about the progress:
“I’m open to talking about it to people because that’s the only way you make progress on stuff like this”
Megan Youngren ran a 2:43:52 marathon in December & is set to become the 1st openly transgender athlete to compete at the US Olympic marathon trials. https://t.co/VkXPW06bMn
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) February 13, 2020
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