Will there be trans sailors for Paris 2024?

Published on May 18th, 2020

As we promote women in sailing through gender based events, with seven of the 10 events for Paris 2024 Olympics requiring female participants, the issue of trangender athletes will occur. It is not a question of if, but when.

It is already occurring in other sports where men that now identify as women are competing in women’s events. In the ever rising realm of sport’s competition, this variable is primed to be exploited.

And while we are accommodating as a culture, where is the line with competition? As sailing is an Olympic sport, this decision will come from the International Olympic Committee. Here is an excerpt on the topic from Inside The Games:

Transgender athletes have, arguably, become a very visual part of a wider debate in society – particularly in the UK recently – around trans rights and women’s spaces that politicians are struggling to navigate.

Trans athletes have argued they should not be prevented from participating in sport, while several prominent former athletes have spoken of concerns that people born biologically male who transition after puberty could retain a physical advantage.

Others have gone further in suggesting transgender athletes would effectively be cheating, with an extreme claim that countries could potentially “manipulate” the rules to pursue medals.

Amid concerns that trans athletes may pose a threat to women’s sport in general, there are calls for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to introduce stricter criteria.

The IOC have been undertaking a consultation process which they say aims to provide a framework for athletes and International Federations, which would be based upon data research and the latest information in the scientific and human rights sectors.

“This is a very difficult and sensitive process and there is no easy answer,” said Richard Budgett, the IOC medical and scientific director.

“Whatever is put in place will undoubtedly upset a lot of people and the views are very different.

“Finding that balance between inclusivity and the fairness of sport, as well as safety in there and the role of testosterone.”

Budgett spoke to reporters shortly after confirmation from the IOC that their existing consensus statement from 2015 would remain in place for Tokyo 2020.

The logic seems reasonable. With qualification underway for Tokyo 2020, forcing International Federations to adopt new regulations during the process was considered “neither ethically nor legally admissible”.

As it stands, only three trans athletes are pursuing places at the 2020 Games: weightlifting, BMX freestyle, and volleyball. They could each make history, with the IOC saying there have been no known transgender athletes competing at the Olympics since 2003. Full report.

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