Watching the likes of William Thomas infiltrate women's collegiate swimming and wreck multiple women's records while stealing medals has made us all wonder what the future of women's sports will be.
This past weekend has given the world a glimmer of hope that there are athletes out there who refuse to have their opportunities snatched away from them because of gender ideology that is sold as a "progressive" development in our society. A transgender cyclist in the UK has been blocked from competing in the National Omnium Championships because of his unfair advantage over the female competitors.
Transgender Cyclist Zach Bridges Is Kicked Out of a Competition
Zach Bridges, 21, calls himself a trans woman and goes by the name Emily Bridges. He entered a women's cycling championship that took place over the weekend and expected to compete against the other women. His excuse was that he began hormone therapy in 2021 because he was struggling with gender dysphoria. Yet even as he was undergoing hormone therapy last year, he was still competing in men's races.
British Cycling and the UCI, world cycling's governing body, have determined that Bridges is ineligible to compete against the women. Bridges posted his response through an LGBT cycling group called Pride Out.
"In that time, I have provided both British Cycling and the UCI with medical evidence that I meet the eligibility criteria for transgender female cyclists, including that my testosterone limit has been far below the limit prescribed by the regulations for the last 12 months," he said.
In 2020, the UCI regulations state that transgender athletes must have testosterone levels below 5 nmol/L for at least one year in order to compete amongst women. The UCI apparently also blocked Bridges from the tournament because he is still registered as a male cyclist and cannot compete with the women until his male UCI identification expires.
"We also understand that in elite sports the concept of fairness is essential. For this reason, British Cycling is today calling for a coalition to share, learn and understand more about how we can achieve fairness in a way that maintains the dignity and respect of all athletes. Across sports, far more needs to be done, collectively, before any long-term conclusions can be drawn," said a statement from British Cycling.
Bridges insists that this is an unfair decision. "As is no surprise with most of the British media, I've been relentlessly harassed and demonized by those who have a specific agenda to push," he said. "They attack anything that isn't the norm and print whatever is most likely to result in the highest engagement for their articles, and bring in advertising. This is without care for the wellbeing of individuals or marginalized groups, and others are left to pick up the pieces due to their actions."
Some female athletes have spoken up about how unfair it would be if Bridges were allowed to compete. Runner Ellie Baker called the whole thing "just ridiculous." She wrote, "I would refuse to race and hope that the other women would stand with me on this too. This is totally unfair. The advantages a trans women has had from going through puberty as a boy to a man can never been undone."
Seren-Bundy Davies, Jessie Knight, and Sharron Davies are also British athletes who supported Baker's sentiment and opposed the idea of men competing in women's sports under the guise of transgenderism.
We have to wait and see if the UCL will ever change its stance on Bridges' participation in women's cycling in the future, but for now this is a victory for women's athletes everywhere.