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May 23rd, 2012
11:43 AM ET

First openly transgender athlete competing for spot on American Olympic team

Keelin Godsey has an impressive record: he’s a two-time NCAA national hammer champion and took 5th at last year's USA Track & Field championship, among other accomplishments. However, what makes Godsey stand out is that he used to be a she.

Born as Kelly, Godsey is biologically female, but he self-identifies as a male. Next month, he’ll head to Eugene, Oregon to compete for a spot on the U.S. Women's Track and Field team, making him the first American Olympic contender to be openly transgender.

David Epstein and Pablo Torre join the Starting Point panel today to discuss the story they recently wrote about Godsey for Sports Illustrated.

The reporters explain that there's no uniformity across various organizations about the rules under which transgender athletes compete. To compete in a sexual category different than the one in which one was born, the Olympics require gender reassignment surgery as well as two years of hormones, while the NCAA says that only one year of hormone therapy is necessary.

Although the guidelines for transgender athletes remain unclear, the NCAA plans to take up the issue over the summer thanks to the attention drawn to the issue by athletes like Godsey.

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Filed under: Olympics • Sports
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Christina-Xena

    The person who wrote this left out a lot of important FACTS!

    "Born as Kelly, Godsey is biologically female, but he self-identifies as a male. Next month, he’ll head to Eugene, Oregon to compete for a spot on the U.S. Women's Track and Field team, making him the first American Olympic contender to be openly transgender."

    Only because HE hasn't medically transitioned as of yet (he plans to after the 2012 Olympics) so he's still biologically a female despite his personal gender identity. Most importantly he hasn't taken any testosterone as of yet so has no physical advantage over other bio-woman.

    May 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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