Biologically Male Runner To Compete In USA Women’s Olympic Trials

A member of the public looks on as the Olympic rings are illuminated for the first time to mark 6 months to go to the Olympic games at Odaiba Marine Park on Jan. 24, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. (Clive Rose/Getty Images)

A biologically male marathon runner who identifies as a transgender woman is set to compete in the USA Olympic trials later in February.

Megan Youngren “is set to make history on Feb. 29 as the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials,” Sports Illustrated reported. Youngren qualified for the trials after a strong performance on Dec. 8, 2019 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.”

“I trained hard. I got lucky. I dodged injuries,” Youngren added. “I raced a lot, and it worked out for me. That’s the story for a lot of other people, too.”

The International Olympic Committee requires transgender athletes in women’s sports to keep their testosterone levels below a certain threshold, but scientific research suggests that suppressing testosterone isn’t enough to neutralize biologically male athletes’ inherent physiological advantages.

Youngren is the latest biologically male athlete to achieve success in female athletics while identifying as a transgender woman.

June Eastwood, a biologically male runner at the University of Montana who identifies as transgender, was named the Big Sky Conference’s female athlete of the week in October 2019. Eastwood previously competed on the university’s men’s cross country team.

Franklin Pierce University runner CeCe Telfer won an NCAA DII women’s track championship in May 2019. Like Eastwood, Telfer previously competed on the men’s team before switching genders.

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