The first transgender woman is about to compete in the USA Olympic trials later this month.
Sports Illustrated reports Megan Youngren, a biologically male marathon runner, will become the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the US Olympic marathon trials on Feb. 29. The 2020 US Olympic Team Trials will be held in Atlanta, GA. The races will determine the three men and three women who will represent the United States in the marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Youngren qualified to participate in the trials last December in the California International Marathon.
"People will try to put it down by saying, 'That's too easy because you're trans.' But what about the 500 other women who will qualify?" Youngren told the magazine. "There's probably someone with the exact same story."
Megan Youngren is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials https://t.co/myPtFcn11T
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 13, 2020
The marathon runner started taking hormone medication as a college student eight years ago, publicly declared transgender status in 2012, and finalized all the legal paperwork in 2019, according to SI.
The International Olympic Committee's (IOC) rules require transgender athletes competing in women's sports to keep their testosterone levels below a certain point (below 10 nanomoles per liter, nmol/L) for at least a year before they compete. That's still more testosterone than most women have. Researchers say women usually have between 0.3 and 2.4 nmol/L.
The IOC has been planning to enforce even stricter guidelines that would require testosterone levels to be at half the current required level. (5 nanomoles per liter), according to the magazine.
As CBN News reported last August, the latest scientific research has shown biologically female athletes are still at a disadvantage against trans athletes despite trans hormone therapy due to unchangeable factors like lung capacity and bone structure.
A peer-reviewed study from the University of Otago in New Zealand titled Transwomen in Elite Sport: Scientific and Ethical Considerations concludes that similar hormone levels are not enough to make it fair for women athletes.
Reuters quotes the study as stating IOC guidelines are "poorly drawn" and that those levels are still "significantly higher" than that of women. The study authors note that hormone therapy "will not alter bone structure, lung volume or heart size of the transwoman athlete...," all giving the trans athlete the biological edge. To make it fair, their suggestion is that a whole new category be created for transgender athletes to compete against each other.
Christian minister Franklin Graham agrees but says a greater understanding of the issue needs to be center stage.
"Women's groups are rightly urging sports authorities to 'wake up' to the unfairness," he said. "I agree, but I think the waking up needs to go a lot farther. Parents, teachers, local officials...everyone needs to wake up about the dangers of the transgender lie. God created male and female. We are made different, down to our DNA."
Just this week, after two biologically male runners have consistently dominated girls' high school track competitions in Connecticut, three female athletes and their mothers filed suit in a federal court in Hartford. They want the state to revise its athletic rules that allow boys to compete in girls' sports. According to the Alliance for Defending Freedom, the girls have asked a simple question: Do female athletes deserve the right to compete on a level playing field? That's why Title IX was created.
"Now when we line up in front of our blocks and the starters call us to get in position, we all know how the race will end," said Selina Soule, one of the plaintiffs. "We can't win. We've lived it. We've watched it happen. We've missed out on medals and opportunities to compete."