There has been a growing awareness of transgender athletes over the past couple of years, thanks in particular to professional MMA fighter Fallon Fox and triathlete and sprint duathlete Chris Mosier, Compete’s 2013 Athlete of the Year. Although Mosier won’t be competing in this year’s Olympic Games since the duathlon isn’t an Olympic sport, the recent change in International Olympic Committee (IOC) competition guidelines for transgender athletes that no longer require gender reassignment surgery and two years of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) wouldn’t be complete without including his role in the change.
Every day Mosier says he reads the following quote, “Be who you needed when you were younger,” a sentiment that fuels the reason he is willing to be open about his transition. He’s not looking for that elusive fifteen minutes of fame; he’s paying it forward, being the transgender athlete role model he looked for and couldn’t find when he was younger.
What put the IOC rule change process into overdrive was Mosier’s seventh-place finish in the men’s 35-39 age category at the Duathlon National Championship in June 2015, earning him a spot on the national men’s team competing for Team USA at the 2016 World Duathlon Championship in Spain this June. As the first transgender man to make Team USA, the U.S. national men’s team that matches his gender identity as opposed to his assigned sex at birth, it still wasn’t guaranteed that Mosier would be eligible to compete with his teammates in the world finals.
He’s always been an athlete and an extremely competitive one who never has been willing to be a “middle of the pack” competitor. Clearly, Mosier has been able to compete as a man so it’s very important to him that he follows the rules and regulations of any meet in which he’s participating so, in his words, “there will never be a case where I win something and people contest it.”
Once he qualified for Team USA, he contacted the International Triathlon Union (ITU), host of the upcoming world championships for a status check, he ultimately learned that they follow the IOC rules that would exclude him from the duathlon (a duathlon being a run-bike-run format as opposed to a triathlon format of swim-bike-run) competition
However, once the IOC revised its guidelines, Mosier only needed to ensure that the ITU would abide by the revisions in order for him to compete. If they didn’t, he already had engaged legal counsel — and started a GoFundMe page to help pay for it – to contest a potential negative decision, something that now doesn’t appear to be needed. And the ultimate result of his activism to change the IOC requirements used by so many international, national and local sports organizations means that transgender athletes will now be able to compete and win legitimately in their sports of choice, even in the Olympics.
In an interview last year with Outsports, he said “Many transgender athletes stop competing when they transition categories. I want people to know it is possible to maintain an identity as an athlete and transition. When I was considering transition, I did not see transgender men competing at a high level in the way I aspired to compete. I am excited to be a visible example for other trans athletes or people considering a medical transition.”
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