Homegrown transgender Olympian reacts to NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle competition – CBS Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A local transgender Olympian reacts after Governor Ron DeSantis proclaimed a Sarasota swimmer, who came second to a transgender woman in NCAA swim competition, as the “legitimate winner” quote .

Chelsea Wolfe is a transgender BMX Olympian, representing the United States, and she speaks about Governor Ron DeSantis’ proclamation on Tuesday.

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“My reaction to his proclamation is just disgust and pity that he has to deny the reality of the world around him to be comfortable with the complexity of life,” Wolfe said.

“They’re crowning someone else as women’s champion and we think that’s a mistake,” Gov. DeSantis said.

Sarasota native Emma Weyant placed second in the NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle competition last week, losing to Lia Thomas, who became the first transgender in any sport to win a championship. of NCAA Division 1.

“You look at what the NCAA has done by basically allowing men to compete in women’s track and field,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis signed that proclamation last week, naming Weyant the winner at Florida State.

“I can’t imagine how damaging this must be for young trans people who are just trying to make it in a world that’s already so structured against them,” Wolfe said.

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DeSantis says transgender women have physical advantages in competitive sports.

“In fact, we face a lot more disadvantages because of the social aspects that we have to overcome”, Wolfe.

Wolfe says to swim in the NCAA right now, a transgender woman must undergo at least a year of testosterone suppression which is regularly monitored, but that could soon increase to three years. Wolfe says training to compete while dealing with your changing body isn’t easy.

“It completely changes everything. It’s almost like switching from a Mac to a PC or vice versa, mentally, physically, the changes it takes to your body and mind are truly remarkable,” Wolfe said.

DeSantis called the NCAA’s decision to announce Thomas the winner a cheat…something Wolfe says is hard to hear.

“They put ideology ahead of opportunity for female athletes,” DeSantis said.

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“To deny victory even when playing by all the rules and to go above and beyond to ensure a level playing field is pretty pitiful,” Wolfe said.

Naomi C. Amerson