The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are likely to feature the first transgender athlete, a topic that will be highly contentious during the competition. But transgender and intersex athletes such as Laurel Hubbard, Tifanny Abreu, and Caster Semenya didn't just turn up overnight. Both intersex and transgender athletes have been newsworthy stories for decades. In Sporting Gender: The History, Science, and Stories of Transgender and Intersex Athletes, Joanna Harper provides an in-depth examination of why gender diverse athletes are so controversial. She not only delves into the history of these athletes and their personal stories, but also explains in a highly accessible manner the science behind their gender diversity and why the science is important for regulatory committees-and the general public-to consider when evaluating sports performance. Sporting Gender gives the reader a perspective that is both broad in scope and yet detailed enough to grasp the nuances that are central in understanding the controversies over intersex and transgender athletes. Featuring personal investigations from the author, who has had first-person access to some of the most significant recent developments in this complex arena, this book provides fascinating insight into sex, gender, and sports.
It is said the champions of the ancient Olympic Games received a crown of olive leaves, symbolizing a divine blessing from Nike, the winged goddess of victory. While the mythology of the ancient games has come to exemplify the highest political, religious, community, and individual ideals of the time, the modern Olympic Games, by comparison, are widely known as an international, bi-annual sporting event where champions have the potential to earn not only glory for their country, but lucrative endorsement deals and the perks of worldwide fame. The Olympics and Philosophy examines the Olympic Movement from a variety of theoretical perspectives to uncover the connection between athleticism and philosophy for a deeper appreciation of the Olympic Pillars of Sport, Environment, and Culture. While today's Olympic champions are neither blessed by the gods nor rewarded with wreaths of olive, the original spirit and ancient ideals of the Olympic Movement endure in its modern embodiment. Editors Heather L. Reid and Michael W. Austin have assembled a team of international scholars to explore topics such as the concept of excellence, ethics, doping, gender, and race. Interweaving ancient and modern Olympic traditions, The Olympics and Philosophy considers the philosophical implications of the Games' intersection with historical events and modern controversy in a unique analysis of tradition and the future of the Olympiad.
In 1968, noted sociologist Harry Edwards established the Olympic Project for Human Rights, calling for a boycott of that year's games in Mexico City as a demonstration against racial discrimination in the United States and around the world. Though the boycott never materialized, Edwards's ideas struck a chord with athletes and incited African American Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos to protest by raising their black-gloved fists on the podium after receiving their medals. Sidelined draws upon a wide range of historical materials and more than forty oral histories with athletes and administrators to explore how the black athletic revolt used professional and college sports to promote the struggle for civil rights in the late 1960s. Author Simon Henderson argues that, contrary to popular perception, sports reinforced the status quo since they relegated black citizens to stereotypical roles in society. By examining activists' successes and failures in promoting racial equality on one of the most public stages in the world, Henderson sheds new light on an often-overlooked subject and gives voice to those who fought for civil rights both on the field and off.
The purpose of any protest, as Martin Luther King famously said, is to disrupt business as usual, to force people to be uncomfortable and to create a sense of crisis. So that’s what many of these athletes are doing when they decide to take a knee. It’s happening across the globe – people are recognizing that issues related to race and to social inequalities in general is not just an American thing, but it’s a part of a global problem.
More than a century after women first competed at the Olympic Games, female athlete numbers were close to equal with those of the men at Tokyo 2020. The drive towards gender equality – on and off the field of play - has picked up pace in the Olympic Movement in recent years, thanks in part to progressive initiatives by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The attempt to balance inclusiveness and fairness, especially regarding the eligibility of transgender and intersex athletes (competitors with the typical male pattern of X and Y chromosomes), is among the most complicated and divisive issues in sports. This article focuses on the success of Lia Thomas, the transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer and FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation)
The testosterone-centered policies used at the Olympics aren’t just about elite sports. They trickle down to even the recreational and youth levels, and end up policing who gets to be a woman in women’s sports—and in society at large.
The International Olympic Committee announced a new framework for transgender and intersex athletes dropping controversial policies that required competing athletes to undergo "medically unnecessary" procedures or treatment.