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While transgender cyclist Austin Killips is entering women’s races and dominating them for sheer pleasure, a trans cyclist in South Korea is entering women’s races to prove a point.
That point being that biological men have an athletic advantage over biological women.
Na Hwa-rin didn’t simply wake up and say ‘I’m going to enter a women’s race today,’ however.
According to The Korea Times, Na underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2022 and is recognized as a woman under South Korean law. Given that there are no rules in place to forbid transgender athletes from entering women’s races, Na had no issue with registering.
Na anticipated the anti-trans messages and rhetoric they’d be subject to after entering the race, but they felt that this was a way to promote fairness in the sport. Na went on to call transgender athletes “selfish” who aren’t admitting they are taking advantage of women’s sports.
“I am not honored. I am not proud of myself at all. I believe other transgender athletes would feel the same way. They may not want to admit it, but they’re being selfish. There is no honor as an athlete in that,” Na said.
“I have no unresolved feelings over winning because that’s no longer what I want. My goal was to stir controversy and get my story heard by competing.”
Na, and others who possess common sense, believe that sports organizations need to add a transgender category to protect women’s sports from being taken advantage of by biological men.
“It could be like how we have many weight divisions in some sports,” Na explained. “Under the current binary system, women athletes will be discouraged, and their hard work might not be recognized due to the participation of transgender athletes. At the same time, trans woman athletes, no matter how hard they worked, will never be truly honored for their wins.”
Na’s wishes for a transgender or open division in cycling aren’t far-fetched by any means.
Most recently, one cycling event in the United States announced that it will be adding an open division after Killips won a women’s race in June by over four minutes.
A decision to create an open category is not anti-trans. It’s simply keeping the sport fair for all genders.