Two British men are set to compete as women in the Rio Olympics next month, multiple news outlets have reported.
The Daily Mail reported on July 2 that “Two British athletes born male are on the verge of making history by competing in women’s events at next month’s Olympic Games.” The Mirror and The Sun echoed the report soon after. The Mail quotes Delia Johnson, who was tapped as an ambassador to transsexuals in the 2012 Olympics, as saying that one of the men has a chance to take home a medal after having an “awesome” personal best earlier this year.
According to the Mail, the governing organizations are aware that the biological men are competing against women but their competitors aren’t. The Mail didn’t report the sports in which the two athletes will be competing.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) implemented a rule change for the Rio Olympics that allows biological men to compete as women without undergoing sex reassignment surgery. The committee noted that “there has been a growing recognition of the importance of autonomy of gender identity in society, as reflected in the laws of many jurisdictions worldwide.”
“It is necessary to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition,” the committee later noted.
Under the new guidelines, a male can compete as a woman as long as he declares that his gender identity is female and keeps his testosterone levels beneath a certain threshold. The guidelines do not address any possible differences in development or lung capacity resulting from being a biological male.
The Daily Caller previously reported how a teen male won all-state honors in girls’ track and field in two events, much to the chagrin of his female competitors. In both events, the teen competed against girls as young as ninth grade.
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