U.S. BMX Freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe, a male-to-female transgender person who qualified as an alternate in the Tokyo Olympics, threatened to “burn a US flag on the podium” if she won.
She wrote on Facebook in March 2020, “My goal is to win the Olympics so I can burn a US flag on the podium. This is what they focus on during a pandemic. Hurting trans children.” She linked to a PinkNews story about transgender girls in female athletics.
Wolfe would rather focus on hurting cis-gender children, instead. It is they who will be cheated if boys are allowed to compete as girls.
The post has since been deleted, and Wolfe swears she loves the USA.
“Anyone who thinks that I don’t care about the United States is sorely mistaken,” Wolfe told Fox News. “One of the reasons why I work so hard to represent the United States in international competition is to show the world that this country has morals and values, that it’s not all of the bad things that we’re known for. I take a stand against fascism because I care about this country and I’m not going to let it fall into the hands of fascists after so many people have fought and sacrificed to prevent fascism from taking hold abroad. As a citizen who wants to be proud of my home country, I’m sure as hell not going to let it take hold here.”
It’s interesting that the word “fascism” rolls off her tongue without any thought — almost as if she knows what “fascism” really means.
Earlier this month, Wolfe posted about what it meant to qualify as an alternate for the Olympics as a transgender athlete.
“I searched for so long trying to find out if there had ever been a professional trans bmx rider to show me that who I am would be okay and unfortunately I found no one,” Wolfe wrote on Instagram on June 12. “Eventually I started to meet some amazing women who helped me accept that I am a woman just like any other and that I deserve a place to exist in the world just like everyone else.”
BMS Freestyle depends more on style than on strength and stamina, so her advantages from her male biology would be negligible. There are other Olympic events where a trans athlete could compete. Curling comes to mind, along with some of the target sports like archery and shooting. The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will be allowed to compete as a female in the Tokyo Olympics.
But the argument that trans athletes should be able to compete as the gender they “identify” with falls a little flat when it comes to female transgenders wanting to compete as males. They are rarer than hen’s teeth, which leads to the logical conclusion that men competing as women is different than women competing as men — that women who compete as men are naturally disadvantaged.
But that’s not seen as a valid argument. Simply because there haven’t been many female-to-male transgender people outperforming most males doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
International Olympic Committee policy specifies conditions under which those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category.
Among them is that the athlete has declared that her gender identity is female and that the declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.
The athlete must also demonstrate that her total testosterone level is below a specific measurement for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.
Testosterone is not the only measurement of male strength and stamina. Muscle mass is very important in sports where lower body strength is the difference between victory and defeat. The hormone requirement is an artificial boundary line set up so the IOC can call itself “inclusive.”
Wolfe’s declaration that she would burn the U.S. flag on the podium will, thankfully, never come true. But with the whole world watching — figuratively, anyway — we should expect someone to make some kind of political statement.