SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCCNews) — The Summer Olympics was scheduled to take place in Tokyo this July, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021.
The International Summer Olympics Committee made new eligibility rules for trans-athletes who are participating in the Olympic games.
“They got rid of the requirement that your legal gender must be recognized as the legal gender you are choosing to compete in. This is one rule that will make it easier for transgender athletes. It used to be that the gender markers on your government documents had to match the category you were competing in,” Olympian BMX freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe said.
She is one of three transgender woman athletes that may be competing in next year’s games among 11,000 athletes.
There are also physical changes that come with more precise testing in order to meet eligibility to participate.
“It’s called LCMS, which is a method of testing for your testosterone levels. This is important because for transgender women athletes it needs to be below .5,” Wolfe said.
She takes medication to allow her testosterone to meet this level.
“The injections are weekly, I use pills, I don’t like needles! So, I take those multiple times a day. The actual taking of the pills tastes more like radioactive tic tacs. The physical changes it makes to your body, figure wise and strength wise is unreal. It’s really powerful stuff,” she said.
Wolfe has also experienced mental effects from these medications.
“It completely rewires your brain to function in an entirely different way. I’ve likened it to as if you were switching to mac from PC, it’s changing the entire operating system,” Wolfe said.
One group she mentioned that are not eligible to compete at this time are non-binary people since they cannot sign a statement saying what their gender is.
The IOC said in a statement they “will reflect further on new guidelines for “athletes’ inclusion on the basis of sex characteristics and gender identity.”