Big changes are happening in the Olympics! The International Olympic Committee announced a monumental decision that is amazing news for transgender athletes: They can now compete without undergoing surgery! Get all the details here!
A barrier has been broken down for Olympic athletes who are transgender, thanks to one of the most historic guideline changes that the Games have seen in a long time. Members of the International Olympic Committee have officially decided that transgender athletes are allowed to compete without having sex reassignment surgery. There are a few specifics to the decision, but this is still a huge deal!
“To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights,” the International Olympic Committee writes in its new guidelines. What is necessary, the IOC adds, is “to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition.”
What an amazing decision that will open doors for so many athletes! The changes are a little more strict for men transitioning to women, though, as testosterone plays into their athletic performance. Because of this, men must declare their sexual identity as female (and can’t change that declaration for four years after), and they must show low levels of testosterone at least one year before competing. As for women who wish to compete as men, they have no restrictions!
Although the IOC doesn’t specifically name any athlete names in its announcement, it’s hard not to think of Caitlyn Jenner now that this decision has been made. While she competed in the Olympic Games as Bruce Jenner many years prior to her transition, Caitlyn has made a huge impact in the transgender community. And as a former athlete herself, we’re sure she’s jumping with joy over this decision!
With the 2016 Summer Olympics about six months away, it’s unclear if the IOC’s new transgender guidelines will play into the field of athletes competing in the Games’ various events. Even if the new rules can’t apply to this year’s competition, we’re sure there are plenty of athletes who are celebrating this historic day — and getting ready to compete as soon as they can!
What are your thoughts on the Olympics’ new ruling for transgender athletes, HollywoodLifers? Are you excited for the Summer Olympics? Tell us below!