A former female Team USA world champion is sounding off about the future of women’s sports, saying that they will be destroyed if transgender athletes born males continue to be allowed to compete in female-only events.
In an op-ed published at FoxNews.com, Cynthia Monteleone, who is also a USATF Track Club coach, a high school track-and-field head coach, and the mother of a female student-athlete, wrote that she is “fighting for something greater than another gold medal: I’m standing for the protection of women’s sports.”
She then predicted: If male-bodied athletes continue competing on female teams, it will be the end of women’s sports,” adding: “This is no exaggeration; this is reality, and it’s happening right now.”
Monteleone’s column comes amid growing controversy about allowing biological males who are transitioning to females to compete in all-women’s sporting events as they blow away their biological female competition in track-and-field events and swimming.
She went on to explain her own experience with a transgender competitor:
At the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Málaga, Spain, I competed in the 200-meter race against a male-bodied athlete, whom I beat by only a few tenths of a second. The next year, the same athlete beat my teammate in the hurdles for a place on the podium at the 2019 World Championship indoor meet in Poland. My teammate had trained harder than anyone I know.
It wasn’t just on the world stage that I experienced the demoralizing trend of male-bodied athletes displacing females from their own competitions; it was also on my home island of Maui, Hawaii.
A year and a half after my experience in Spain, my daughter lost to a biological male identifying as female in her first-ever high school track race. I had watched proudly as my strong and determined girl did all the right things – made personal, difficult sacrifices to train her body to be as fast and fit as possible for her first race.
Yet all her hard work seemed to drift away along with the male-bodied athlete, who had just transferred from the boys’ volleyball team to the girl’s team the season before. The athlete breezed right by her to win first place, leaving her to finish second.
In addition to simply losing competitions, Monteleone also said that she “began to witness other ways this injustice impacts families like ours,” which included mental health issues on girls forced to compete against biological males, “the personal lessons in effort rewarded and goals achieved, and future scholarships, awards and accolades.”
“But how can you win as a female when you’re lined up next to a male body whose strength, heart and lung capacity, and pace are all greater than your own no matter what the ‘treatment’? she added.
The former world champ went on to cite studies showing that despite “hormone suppression” therapy, transgender athletes born as biological males still retain competitive edges.
A study that the Macdonald–Laurier Institute, a Canadian think tank, released last month argued that “there is neither a medical intervention nor a clever philosophical argument that can make it fair for trans women to compete in women’s sport.” The study recommended finding other ways to include transgender women in sports competitions.
“For trans women who have successfully suppressed testosterone for 12 months, the extent of muscle/strength loss is only an approximately (and modest) -5% after 12 months,” the authors noted. “Testosterone suppression does not remove the athletic advantage acquired under high testosterone conditions at puberty, while the male musculoskeletal advantage is retained.”
In conclusion, Monteleone said others should be speaking up as well to save women’s sports.
“Female athletes deserve their chance to receive accolades, awards and scholarships. We must raise our voices on behalf of fairness and equal opportunity for all women, before the entire category of women’s sports is erased,” she wrote.