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The Berlin Swimming World Cup is set to introduce something the majority of level-headed folks have been calling for: an ‘open category’ for transgender swimmers.
World Aquatics made the announcement about the open category on Wednesday, roughly 14 months after the world swimming governing body effectively banned transgender athletes from competing against the gender they identify as.
“When World Aquatics instituted its Policy on Eligibility for the Men’s and Women’s Competition Categories, we committed to exploring the creation of an open category,” World Aquatics president Husain Al-Musallam said in a statement.
“True to our word, a team of experts has diligently worked to make this a reality. I would like to thank all those who have helped World Aquatics to deliver this opportunity.”
The Berlin Swimming World Cup will get underway from Germany on October 6.
An Open Category Just Makes Sense
The introduction of the open category goes back to the overall discussion about transgender athletes which has been a major talking point after Lia Thomas’ emergence in the 2022 NCAA Championships.
On one side of the discussion, you have the Alex Morgans of the world saying “the inclusion of trans kids in sports is the inclusion of kids in sports” with her USWNT teammate Megan Rapinoe being in favor of a biological man competing on the women’s national soccer team.
Those of the opinion that women should only compete against biological females are then immediately labeled anti-trans instead of pro-woman.
Few are saying transgender people should not be allowed to play sports in general, the vast majority agree with an open category to keep women’s sports, women’s sports.