Transgender woman Rachel McKinnon wins cycling world championship
A transgender woman has won a world championship in cycling for the first time.
Rachel McKinnon won gold in the sprint at the 2018 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships on Saturday.
McKinnon has faced backlash for her participation in the Los Angeles-based championships, with many people online accusing her of having an unfair advantage over her opponents.
The Canadian cyclist, who is also an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at South Carolina’s College of Charleston, has defended herself against the claims on Twitter.
In one post, she wrote: “I train 15-20hrs/week, twice/day 5-6 days/week. Yeah…I just jumped off the couch and won. Transphobic bigots, y’all.”
Responding to someone saying the athletes who came second and third were “robbed” and had to “smile and wave and pretend it was a fair sport,” she said: “Or maybe they actually think it’s fair (2nd place is a friend).
“Don’t objectify and use other women for your bigotry.”
McKinnon added in another tweet: “We’re disproportionately NOT GREAT at sport. We’re grossly underrepresented in elite sport.”
She noted that her performances have improved over time, that she didn’t place first in the qualifying sprint, and that current guidelines mean that she is actually placed at a disadvantage to other athletes.
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