March, known as the month that comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, is the perfect time for our summer sports preview issue. It’s time to get outside and ditch your cabin fever, the result of this wild winter weather. Whether you’re a runner, triathlete, golfer, tennis or soccer player, we’ve got a little something for everyone.
It’s also time for a first overview of the Summer Olympics being held this August in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Beyond the thrill of the competitions, the Olympic Games have an exciting unpredictability to them that’s always reflec- tive of our current state of affairs as a global society, particularly in terms of sports diversity.
While the 2012 Summer Olympiad in London was a major victory for gay athletes being able to be out, the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi were the polar opposite, reflecting instead the rampant homophobia of the Russian govern- ment that threatened openly gay athletes and fans with arrest.
But in 2016 the big news is the positive step forward for transgender athletes. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has updated its competition guidelines, no longer requiring expensive and unnecessary gender reassignment surgery and reducing the required time an athlete must be on hormone replacement therapy from two years to one. The impact of this change goes far beyond those wanting to compete in the Olympic Games since many international, national and local sports organizations, leagues and teams use the IOC guidelines.
I hope you also enjoy reading about trans athlete Chris Mosier’s role in changing the outdated IOC guidelines as well as the active role Athlete Ally has taken to urge FIFA, the international governing body for football (soccer to those in the U.S.) to pass crucial reforms in the wake of the international scandal that included charges of wire-fraud, money laundering and rack- eteering. One of the important reforms is to finally give women a greater role in the organization’s decision making.
So get a “spring” in your step and get ready to get out there and COMPETE!