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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

NZ Transgender Weight-Lifter selected for the Olympics

Tokyo Olympics

Like it, or love it: New Zealand is to send the first-ever transgender person to the Olympic Games. You don't have to agree with me, but I think this attempt to be fair to transgender women is unfair for women. I'm not alone on this one.


Of course, this survey is far from robust, but it gives an idea of where public opinion lies on this matter. I think our sports leaders are out of step on this issue. They have got it wrong.

Former Professor in Exercise Physiology and a high-performance athlete in his own right, Steve Stannard, wrote an opinion piece about this issue a little over a week ago. I think he nails it.

"Add this male sex-related advantage in physical pursuits to the subtle but important effect of sport during puberty, and you have a male adult with an advantage in that sport; an advantage that will never go away even when testosterone declines."

Steve raises concerns about the long-term effects on health from hormone suppression which is required of transgender athletes who wish to qualify for events such as the Olympics. His article reminded me of one transgender person. She is the most lovely person and her transition to being female was the best thing she has ever done. However, she is now partially paralysed. While the cause is a complete medical mystery, I am highly suspicious that it is the hormone therapy that is at fault. Her first onset of symptoms coincided with the hormone therapy. We can never prove anything, but this is more of a coincidence than mere chance.

Steve concludes his essay with what I think is the best solution so far and one that is fair to all involved.

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