A dominating duo in the world of women’s cycling has sparked huge concerns about the fairness of the sport. Why? Because this team is biologically male!
Debate Over Trans Athletes
Two transgender cyclists, Evelyn Williamson and Tessa Johnson, have found themselves at the center of a heated controversy after securing gold medals in separate championships, leaving biological female competitors in their wake.
Transgender Duo’s Cycling Triumph
Williamson and Johnson, both individuals who transitioned from male to female, made headlines by clinching victories in the world of cycling. Their recent win in a relay race at the Illinois State Championships caused controversy.
A Team Name With a Message
Competing under the team name ‘TS-ESTRODOLLS,’ the duo made a powerful statement regarding their transition.
Not Just a Clever Name
The name, referencing the female hormone estrogen, added to the buzz surrounding their achievements.
Should They Compete?
Their victories have reignited the ongoing debate surrounding transgender athletes’ participation in women’s sports. Critics argue that undergoing male puberty provides an unfair physical advantage, even with surgeries and hormone replacement therapy.
Participating as Both Genders
Examining race results, Williamson participated in both men’s and women’s categories at the Sky Express Winter Criterium in March 2020.
Winning as a Woman
She clinched the first place competing against women but didn’t secure a spot in the men’s race, consisting of 40 cyclists. This suggests she has been racing in the female category since at least 2017, consistently outperforming her competitors.
Johnson’s Transition and Triumph
On the other hand, Johnson transitioned from male to female and found success in female races. Records show that she previously competed in men’s categories during her time at Clemson University.
A Stupendous Season as a Woman
Johnson’s impressive 2022 season included eight victories and frequent podium placements, with only one ‘did not finish’ result.
Controversy Beyond Cycling
Apart from their cycling triumphs, Williamson’s personal life stirred controversy. In July 2022, rumors circulated that she had entered a romantic relationship with fellow transgender cyclist Austin Killips.
“Throuple” Relationship Sparks Confusion
This relationship extended to include a third, unidentified individual, forming a ‘throuple.’
Killip’s Career-Ending Shove
Killips faced backlash in December 2022 for appearing to shove female Cyclocross champion Hannah Arsensman during a competition, prompting her to quit the sport.
The Continuing Debate
Transgender athletes have been a focal point in the sports world, with some asserting that their inclusion challenges the fairness of competition.
Women Athletes Have Their Say
Athletes like Arensman have expressed their concerns about competing against transgender competitors, leading to debates on the rules governing sports, “This has gone on long enough, it has gone far enough. It should never have reached this point, it should never have been allowed. Someone has to take responsibility.”
States Seek to Regulate
Several states have initiated efforts to restrict transgender women from competing in women’s sports. Citing studies that highlight lingering physical advantages, these states have taken action to address the issue.
It Started With a Swimmer
The debate over transgender athletes gained prominence when Lia Thomas, a trans swimmer, secured an NCAA championship in March 2022. It has since ignited passionate discussions within the sporting community.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dean Drobot. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.