Na Hwa-rin, a 37-year-old cyclist from South Korea, went viral after making a resounding statement about fairness and inclusion in sports. Here’s the full story.
The First Officially Recognized Transgender Athlete in South Korea
Born as a biological male, Na was raised in a Christian family but knew since the age of 7 that she should have been born a female.
Last year, after her transition, Na’s gender identity was legally recognized by the South Korean government, enabling her to pursue her lifelong passion for cycling as a woman.
This decision marked not only a personal milestone but also a groundbreaking moment for the entire nation, as Na became the first officially recognized transgender athlete in South Korea.
In June, Na secured victory at the Gangwon Sports Festival.
“My Goal Was To Stir Controversy and Get My Story Heard by Competing”
Unlike typical competitive cyclists, Na raced not to bask in the spotlight of victory, but rather to challenge a prevalent discourse in the world of sports.
She said, “I have no unresolved feelings over winning because that’s no longer what I want. My goal was to stir controversy and get my story heard by competing.”
Despite her victory, Na confessed to feeling a sense of relief rather than triumph.
“I am not proud of myself at all. I believe other transgender athletes would feel the same way. They may not want to admit it, but they’re being selfish. There is no honor as an athlete in that,” she told a local news media.
She Called for a “Third Gender” Category in Athletic Competitions
Na’s perspective is shaped by her belief that honor in sports extends beyond individual achievement and encompasses the broader principles of respect, fairness, and harmony.
Before her transition, Na had already made her mark as a fierce competitor, earning medals in men’s races, some of which she achieved while undergoing hormone therapy.
She utilized her moment on the podium to call for the inclusion of a “third gender” category in athletic competitions, similar to weight divisions in various sports.
She said, “It could be like how we have many weight divisions in some sports … Under the current binary system, women athletes will be discouraged, and their hard work might not be recognized due to the participation of transgender athletes.”
To Level the Playing Field and a More Diverse Sports Landscape
She reasoned that such a category would not only level the playing field for transgender athletes but also ensure that the hard work of female athletes is duly recognized and appreciated.
Her call for a “third gender” category is not just a solitary plea. Na envisions it as a stepping stone towards greater acceptance and inclusion.
She firmly believes that lowering the barriers to participation will encourage more transgender athletes to pursue their athletic dreams, ultimately leading to a fuller and more diverse sports landscape.
“Trans woman athletes, no matter how hard they worked, will never be truly honored for their wins. Honor is the goal that all athletes aspire to attain, but this is a situation where nobody will be honored. I think that shouldn’t happen,” she added.
“I Never Thought a Trans Athlete Would Speak the Truth and Acknowledge His Physical Advantage”
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “It isn’t healthy for society and individuals to deny the obvious fact that trans athletes have an advantage over female athletes. A third category for trans athletes would acknowledge this and once again make sport fair for everyone.”
Another User wrote, “I never thought a Trans athlete would speak the truth and acknowledge his physical advantage.”
The post Transgender Cyclist Wins Women’s Race To Prove Males Are Physically Superior to Women; Her Goal Was to “Stir Controversy and Get My Story Heard by Competing” first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / . The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.