The top two positions in London’s ThundCrit cycling race were won last week by biological men identifying as women. The pair were then photographed kissing on the podium as the third-place finisher, a woman holding a small child, stood nearby.
The photograph, which perfectly captures the shift towards allowing biological males to supplant women in athletic events, spread across the internet like wildfire.
ThunderCrit organizers call the category the two biological males swept “Lightning.” Its website says it’s for “cis-women,” non-binary racers who are physically “aligned” with cis-women, and trans men and women. Have we really reached this point?
Cis, or cisgender, refers to those who stick to their birth gender — or what doc told mom after delivery. Non-binary means ignoring biology.
Emily Bridges and Lilly Chant, both biological males, placed first and second in the Lightning race. Bridges repeatedly attempted to gain entry into races for females in the U.K. before the London event, only to be rebuffed.
He previously won races against other men before deciding he was a woman, and competed against them as recently as last month. Chant, the second-place finisher, is still listed as “male” on official documents.
British Cycling, which barred Bridges from a women’s event earlier this year, says the London race was independent and not under its rules. The body does say, however, that it is reviewing its transgender policy.
Reaction was swift among current and former cyclists who are actually women. 1980 Olympic silver medalist Sharron Davies said she is “very disappointed” that a woman was relegated to third place by two biological males.
In fact, dozens of former cycling Olympians as well as scholars and researchers signed a letter to British Cycling demanding “fair and meaningful competition” be preserved for women.
Fiona McAnena of Fair Play for Women says that allowing people who experienced “male puberty” to compete in female categories sets women back.
ThunderCrit says it attempted to create an “inclusive” event with the race. Perhaps it might consider allowing biological males who identify as female to compete against each other. It’s certainly more “inclusive” than pitting those with advantages that cannot be reversed against real women.