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Sunday 23 June, 2024
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Hannah Arensman quit the sport over trans racers

BY Salman Ahmed Mar 25, 2023. 12:47 am UPDATED: Mar 25, 2023. 12:47 am

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A former women’s cycling champion quit the sport in rage after losing to a transgender rider — a decision that was quickly followed by another trans cyclist declaring herself a “superhero” for winning the women’s race in New York.

Hannah Arensman, a champion cyclocross rider, bolstered her decision with a statement in a Supreme Court filing on the issue.

“I have decided to end my cycling career,” Arensman said last Wednesday.

She said in her last race, in the elite women’s division of the UCI Cyclocross National Championships in late December, she “came in 4th place, flanked on either side by male riders awarded 3rd and 5th places.”

“My sister and family sobbed as they watched a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him throughout the race,” she wrote, in a statement also shared by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS).

“Additionally, it is difficult for me to think about the very real possibility I was overlooked for an international selection on the US team at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor.”

She said that it “has become increasingly discouraging to train as hard as I do only to have to lose to a man with the unfair advantage of an androgenized body that intrinsically gives him an obvious advantage over me, no matter how hard I train.”

“I feel for young girls learning to compete and who are growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair chance at being the new record holders and champions in cycling,” she wrote.

“I have felt deeply angered, disappointed, overlooked, and humiliated that the rule makers of women’s sports do not feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women anymore,” she wrote in the filing.

Tiffany Thomas, 47, was photographed with her arms raised in victory at the top of the podium at the Randall’s Island Crit on Saturday — at least her 20th win since she began racing in 2018, when she was already in her 40s.

The NYC-based biologist shared photos of herself flying from the race while dressed in the bright orange team kit of her team sponsor, LA Sweat.

Hannah Arensman

“I’m not going to lie, sometimes it made me feel like a superhero when I wore it,” she said alongside one image of her fully focused on the NYC race.

“Playing bikes with friends is what this sport is all about,” wrote one “fitness fancier” alongside another.

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Thomas, who also regularly posts pictures of herself weightlifting, received messages of love and support, with one person writing, “You are a superhero and one of the smartest scientists I know!!”

Hannah Arensman

Her victory, however, sparked a severe backlash, with a NYC cycling outlet that posted her podium photos removing the flood of angry comments.

One critic stated that they “feel so bad for woman athletes in America who have trained their entire lives” to lose out to transgender athletes who, according to some experts, have a genetic advantage even after hormone therapy.

“We are destroying woman’s rights in America,” the anonymous critic tweeted.

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