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Six trans athletes who made a mark in the global sports arena

Copyrights: Purple Patch Fitness / Andre Penner / Transgender Forum / Chelsea Wolfe / World Darts Federation / Canadian Paralympic Committee

Six trans athletes who made a mark in the global sports arena

To mark Transgender Awareness Week 2022, we take a look at six trans athletes who have made their mark in the sports world.

Transgender Awareness Week is observed annually from 13 to 19 November across the world to raise awareness on transgender and gender non-conforming people, through education and advocacy activities. The week-long celebration culminates on 20 November, which is marked as Transgender Day of Remembrance, to honour the lives lost as a result of transphobic violence.  

The trans community continues to face discrimination and prejudices in the sports sector. In the face of all these challenges, some trans athletes have mustered the courage and emerged victorious to make a mark in the global sports arena.  

Though the inclusion of trans athletes still remains a hot debate, providing equal opportunity to compete at all national and international sport events is an essential human right and is necessary for the acceptance of trans athletes in the sporting world.

Here are six trans athletes who, with their hard work and perseverance, have made their names in the sports field.

1. Chris Mosier

Chris Mosier is a hall-of-fame triathlete who became the first transgender man to represent the United States in international competition. He has been instrumental in bringing various policy changes regarding the rights of trans athletes — prompting the International Olympic Committee to create new guidelines for the participation of trans athletes was one such historic move.

To help and guide trans athletes, he founded ‘’ which serves as a resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans inclusion in athletics at various levels of play. 

2. Tifanny Abreu

A volleyball star from Brazil, Tifanny Abreu became the first trans woman to play in the Brazilian Women’s Volleyball Superliga. 

Though Abreu complied with all the rigid guidelines of IOC, she still faces prejudices from other female players like Tandara Caixeta, who think that being born in a male body gives some advantages like bigger lungs and smaller hips, making it easier for Abreu to jump.

3. Mianne Bagger

A professional golfer from Denmark, Mianne Bagger made history by becoming the first trans woman who had completed her transition to play in a professional golf tournament in the Women’s Australian Open in 2004.

Recently, she made news by supporting the Save Women’s Sports bill. which seeks to amend the Sex Discrimination Act in Australia to prohibit trans women to play in female sports. She argued that sport is about physical ability and the male body, with high testosterone levels, has advantages over female bodies. She was criticized by the trans community, as she was herself a beneficiary of the IOC’s amendments which allowed her to play in the international tournaments.

4. Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe is an American BMX freestyle rider, who wrote history by becoming the first trans person to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics as an alternate on Team USA. For her, freestyle riding gives is her outlet for self–expression.

She believes her visibility can encourage other LGBTQ+ athletes to live confidently and fight discrimination. Wolfe shared her insights with Outsports, saying: “If you can live life openly as yourself in a world so hostile to your existence, then you already have the strength of a champion.”

5. Victoria Monaghan

Victoria Monaghan, a New Zealand darts player, is going to become the first trans woman to compete at the World Darts Championship, which will be held in England next year. She secured this place by winning the New Zealand Open title held in July.

While knowing that darts is a mental game which requires sharp focus, Monaghan has had to deal with the extra pressure of being on the receiving end of negative comments from some sections of the society. But she bravely confronted the adverse situations by staying truthful to herself.

6. Ness Murby

A Paralympian who was born and raised in Australia, Ness Murby has competed in a myriad of sports, including goalball and powerlifting para-athletics, and has represented three countries — Australia, Japan and Canada. Murby placed third in the discus throw F11 at the 2016 Paralympics. In javelin he won a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships, and a bronze in 2017.   

Being a blind trans man who always needs a guide, Murby’s struggles multiplied when he moved into men’s competition, as he had to deal with a changing body and had to throw a heavier discus. But with his motto, ‘the struggle is with yourself,’ he sailed through all hardships and carved out space for himself, while exemplifying the intersectionality between sport and disability. 


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Prabhat Kumar


Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - 23:28

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