A former three-time U.S. Olympian is calling on cyclists to take a knee at the start line in protest of the world’s cycling governing body’s decision to allow trans cyclists to compete in the female category.
Inga Thompson, a road cyclist for Team USA, took to Twitter Sunday after a week filled with controversy following trans cyclist Austin Killips’ “victory” in the Tour of the Gila overall category against female riders last week.
“It is time for Women Cyclist to start protesting @UCI_cycling Policy,” Thompson tweeted. “Start taking a knee at the starting lines. Team managers need to speak up and protect their riders. Hold signs at every race ‘Save Women’s Sports.’”
It is time for Women Cyclist to start protesting @UCI_cycling Policy. Start taking a knee at the starting lines. Team managers need to speak up and protect their riders. Hold signs at every race “Save Women’s Sports”. https://t.co/BIn3cSKPJm
— Inga Thompson Fdn OLY💚💜 (@ithompsonfdn) May 7, 2023
UCI, or the Union Cyclist Internationale, is the world governing body for cycling. It was UCI that decided to allow males to compete against females but then seemed to backpedal somewhat following severe backlash on social media from legendary female athletes such as Martina Navratilova.
“The UCI’s objective remains the same: to take into consideration, in the context of the evolution of our society, the desire of transgender athletes to practice cycling,” the UCI said. “The UCI also hears the voices of female athletes and their concerns about an equal playing field for competitors and will take into account all elements, including the evolution of scientific knowledge.”
Killips is the first trans female to win a UCI-sanctioned stage race. If Thompson, an actual female, and winner of three silver medals at the UCI Road World Championships, has her way, Killips will also be the last trans rider to win a UCI event.
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