FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2019 file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn. Three Connecticut girls who participate on high school track teams have filed a federal discrimination complaint against a statewide policy on transgender athletes, saying it has cost them top finishes in competitions and possibly college scholarships. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb, File)
Well, he did it.
I’d written previously about Megan Youngren’s impending tryout for the Olympics, and in Atlanta Saturday, he took to the track for a ticket to the big games in Tokyo.
Surely to the surprise of many, the male runner identifying as a female runner won’t make it this year.
According to Pop Sugar magazine, of the 450 runners competing in the marathon, Megan came in 230th.
His time: 2:50:27.
NBC just featured Megan Youngren on the #MarathonTrials20 broadcast. She's the first transgender runner to ever compete in the marathon trials
— Nick McCarvel (@NickMcCarvel) February 29, 2020
Of course, there’s no shame in not getting in your first time.
However, one competitor — Molly Seidel — accomplished that very feat. Not only was it her first tryout; it was her first marathon.
Winners of those Tokyo tickets on the women’s side include first-place finisher Aliphine Tuliamuk (2:27:23), first-time marathoner Molly Seidel, and 2012 Olympian Sally Kipyego. Yep, you read that right: Molly had never competed at 26.2 miles before the Olympic trials.
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) February 29, 2020
Did she show up thinking it was a swimming event?
Moving on, as I noted on the 13th, 28-year-old Megan was set to go down in history.
And he did, as stated by The Daily Wire:
Youngren, who is biologically male, is the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the American Olympic trials for track and field. The transgender athlete “qualified for the trials after a strong performance on Dec. 8, 2019, in the California International Marathon,” according to the Daily Signal, and had hoped to make Olympic history by becoming the first transgender athlete to represent the United States in an Olympic track and field event.
If you’re wondering what the rules are for people competing with the opposite of their biological sex, here’s the 411:
Fearing that biologically male athletes could have an advantage over biologically female athletes in gender-specific events, the IOC mandated that male-to-female athletes must have declared that their gender identify is female for at least four years prior to competing for an Olympic slot and “must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition (with the requirement for any longer period to be based on a confidential case-by-case evaluation, considering whether or not 12 months is a sufficient length of time to minimize any advantage in women’s competition).”
Despite Megan’s miss-out, in the land of the rising sun, history might still be made: Three other men identifying as women are hoping to see it through for the books.
As relayed by Reuters, BMX freestyler Chelsea Wolfe aims to “[make] history as the first transgender athlete to compete in the Games.”
The 26-year-old’s psyched to make a move:
“I would be getting to be the person that I needed to see when I was younger, which is — I mean that would be so important to me. To get to inspire kids to realize…that if they want it enough, they can earn it, and they’re not going to be stopped because of who they are.”
Also on the docket: volleyball player Tifanny Abreu and New Zealand powerlifter Laurel Hubbard.
I don’t know much (much = anything) about women’s weightlifting, but I’d say Laurel’s got more than a solid shot:
Not everyone online’s excited about a biological man seeking to destroy women lifters who’d otherwise have a chance at a potentially life-changing victory:
Meet Laurel Hubbard:
A 6’1” transgender weightlifting BEAST that clinched 2 gold medals in the WOMEN’S division, because he kept losing to men pic.twitter.com/rVkRIpM1sg
— Your Republican Dad (@yourrepubdad) February 26, 2020
The Transgender movement is ANTI WOMEN!
"New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard clinches two gold medals. Obliterated the rest of the female field." pic.twitter.com/jHJNVd0Kqo
— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) February 26, 2020
Prior tweet was in response to a now-deleted tweet about transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. If there is, on average, a physical difference due to permanent traits (age, gender, disability) then there should be divisions. Add a transgender division.https://t.co/5dC1gdh5fK pic.twitter.com/6caMajhTp0
— Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer) February 27, 2020
" Laurel Hubbard is a woman who was trapped in a man's body"
She Then used that same "man's body" to beat woman with woman's bodies in a woman's weightlifting event.
— Jacob Bayes (@xRealJTB) April 9, 2018
And this one?
Gavin Hubbard competed in men's weightlifting until he was 37years old, never came close to the podium.
Gavin Hubbard becomes Laurel Hubbard at 37 years old.
Laurel Hubbard wins GOLD against female powerlifters at 39. pic.twitter.com/IQqjhWz9mg
— Wolfgang 🇨🇦 (@wolfgang_flur) February 21, 2020
There was even this:
— Michael van Es (@MichaelvanEs3) February 27, 2020
And here’s an extended video of Joe Rogan with thoughts (Language Warning):
But make no mistake about it — Laurel has a lot of support, as well:
Laurel Hubbard is a true New Zealand hero – a weightlifter, a woman and a champion for a better society. https://t.co/lbgOQ8bnFZ
— Patrick Gower (@patrickgowernz) April 9, 2018
Really impressed with this, a necessary piece from an unexpected source.
Congratulations Paddy, this is great.
— Tesstess (@LaMamaTess) April 10, 2018
Thanks for highlighting the bravery of this woman to compete for NZ – in light of the obvious negativity and lack of understanding by many.
— Trace Custer (@TraceCuster) April 10, 2018
Huge respect for Laurel Hubbard in how she has responded to her critics. She won her medal fairly. I wish her well https://t.co/zZXvrXwqum
— Jackie Blue (@drjackieblue) December 8, 2017
So here come the Olympics — not only of sport, but of perspective. Who/which will take the Gold?
Personally, I’m a firm believer that every individual should present himself/herself however he/she sees fit. Life is precious, and you have only one; pursue all the good things you dream of, no matter what anyone else thinks.
Putting issues of self-discovery and transformation wholly aside, it seems to me that athletic competition — the comparing of height, weight, reach, stride, strength, quickness, and agility — is supremely influenced by one’s biological sex.
But the Olympics have chosen their rules and the big games await. And a new kind of history just might be made.
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