Who’s The Stronger Cyclist?

How many of you are watching Stars on Mars?  Anyone?  Don’t I always say that words matter?  These people are not stars, and they’re not on Mars.  But apparently Lance Armstrong and his single testicle are on the show, discussing trans athletes competing in sports.  “Listen, this is real simple: You want to transition, let’s do it.  You have your own category.  We’re gonna have a whole new division.  We’ll celebrate you just like we celebrate everyone else.  Let’s go.  What’s unfair about that?”  Tinashe (another “star”) said, “To me, I think we just have to care about if you otherize people.  It’s not good for their mental health.”  Ariel Winter (finally, a name I recognize) said, “You’re ostracizing the people who don’t fit in the categories” – which I don’t think Lance is doing.  He’s saying create a new category.  Olympian Adam Rippon said he found Lance’s comments “so disheartening”.

Back on Earth, cyclist Na Hwa-rin called for the need of a “third gender” in sports – didn’t Lance Armstrong just do that?  Na, who was born male, won Korea’s Gangwon Sports Festival in the female category.  Hwa-rin is described as having a skeletal muscle mass of 32.7 kilograms, which is said to be about a dozen kilograms more than a typical female athlete.  When asked about the win, Na said, “My goal was to stir controversy…I am not proud of myself at all.”  Na believes that being born male provides “physical superiority” against biologically born female competitors.  Hwa-rin added that if a third gender category were created, “we allow more people to compete in sports and let them live their dreams.”

As we went to press, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) issued a new policy barring trans women from competing in the “Women” category if they “transitioned after (male) puberty”.  This is based on scientific research, which cannot guarantee that genetic men those who transitioned after puberty do not have a physical advantage.  Those cyclists will still be able to compete – but in category now called “Men/Open”.


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