US Olympic athlete Chelsea Wolfe says goal is to win so she can ‘burn a US flag on the podium’
BMX Freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe, who identifies as a trans woman and will be representing the U.S. at this year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo, said that her goal was to win an Olympic medal “so I can burn a US flag on the podium.”
“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,” Wolfe wrote in a Facebook post dated March 25, 2020.
Wolfe’s post was in response to a PinkNews article on the Trump administration’s policy on transgender girls in female sports. She now says her post was meant to prevent “fascism” from taking hold in America.
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“Anyone who thinks that I don’t care about the United States is sorely mistaken,” Wolfe said in response to criticism of the now-deleted post. “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.”
The International Olympic Committee has specific policies in place under which competitors who transition from male to female are eligible to compete. Such policy requires that any biologically male athlete that declares their gender identity as female must do so four years before competing and can not be changed for sporting purposes.
Another policy states that athletes who are biologically male but identify as female must have a testosterone level below a specific level for at least 12 months prior to their first competition. “The overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition,” according to IOC policy.
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“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. “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.”
Wolfe is not the only transgender athlete who qualified to compete in this year’s Olympics as New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will represent her country in the women’s heavyweight division for weightlifting.
Laurel, formerly known as Gavin Hubbard currently meets all the IOC requirements for biological males to compete against women.
Belgian Olympic weightlifter, Anna Van Bellinghen, recently said that the IOC’s decision to allow biological males to compete against women in weightlifting is “like a bad joke.” Hubbard competing in “this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes,… Anyone that has trained weightlifting at a high level knows this to be true in their bones,” Van Bellinghen continued.