Chelsea Wolfe Makes History As First Trans U.S. Athlete To Go To Olympics

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Chelsea Wolfe is making history this summer as the first trans athlete to go to the Olympics on Team USA.

The BMX Racer will be a reserve teammate on the U.S. roster, heading to Tokyo for the Summer Games. There are two qualifying riders, Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas, and if either of them drops out, Wolfe will officially compete.

On Monday, Wolfe "placed fifth in the BMX Freestyle Park finals at the UCI Urban World Championships in Montpellier, France," which, OutSports reported, "placed her third overall in the U.S. Team rankings."

In an emotional Instagram post about the news, Wolfe wrote that it's "taking a bit to fully register that after so many years of work we finally have the @teamusa bmx freestyle squad for the @olympics, and that after so much work and overcoming so many obstacles that I've qualified to represent the United States as the alternate rider."

"I am positively a different person than when I set off on this journey and I'm so grateful for every experience along the way and I'm so excited and honored to keep working so I'm ready to shred in Tokyo in case I'm needed," she wrote.

Wolf also congratulated Roberts and Benegas for being the official competition riders, adding: “I can’t wait to watch y’all crush it in the games and cheer you on.”

The 28-year-old Florida native reportedly began BMX riding at 6 years old and "first competed freestyle in 2014 at the state level in Florida," says HuffPost. Upon BMX freestyle being added as an event to the 2020 Olympics, Wolfe started training to compete internationally and, in 2019, she finished third at the U.S. National and Pan-American championships.

Her role in this year's Olympics is even more monumental when considering the recent surge in anti-trans legislation around the country. CNN reported in April that 33 states had introduced more than 100 bills aimed at curbing the rights of trans people around the country; they noted that the Human Rights Campaign found 2021 to have had the "highest number" of bills targeting the trans community since the organization "began tracking anti-LGBTQ legislation more than 15 years ago."

This post is part of a series covering the talented female athletes competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Stay up to date on their latest achievements and watch them go for gold here

Tags: Groundbreaking Women, Pop Culture

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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