Trans Runner Qualifies for US Olympic Team

( – Transgender middle-distance runner Nikki Hiltz has qualified for the US Olympic team. Hiltz made the cut after a record-breaking performance in the women’s 1,500 meters at the US Olympic track & field trials in Oregon on June 29. Hiltz, who uses they/them pronouns and is biologically female, took to social media to say she was overwhelmed by the show of love and support she had received. It will be the 29-year-old’s first Olympic Games, although she won a silver medal at the Indoor World Championships this year.

During the trials, Hiltz set a track record with her time of 3 minutes and 55.53 seconds, beating previous holder Elle St. Pierre. While this will be her first Olympic Games, Ms. Hiltz has a long sporting history and was All-American Champion back in 2018. She also won gold at the gold in the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru.

Responding to news of Hiltz’s Olympic qualification, Riley Gaines, who rose to fame when she complained about males competing in women’s contests, pointed out that Hiltz had not entered the men’s competition, even though she does not identify as female. “It’s almost as if she understands she would never be able to compete,” Gaines wrote.

Fans responded with similar sentiments on Twitter, with one person declaring, “At least she’s in the right category.” Others complained, however, that the Paris officials declared that trans athletes could not compete and had seemingly gone back on their word.

The Olympics will be hosted in France this summer, and in July, news emerged detailing new restrictions on transgender athletes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced it has updated its guidelines, and only males who underwent hormonal or medical treatment before age 12 will be permitted to compete against females.

The restrictions apply to most competitions, including athletics, swimming, rugby, rowing, and boxing. Other sports, such as cycling, have added new “open” categories for competitors with various identities.

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