The transgender mountain biker, who has quickly come to dominate women’s racing since the transition, said it’s “horrible” that the new rules ban trans athletes, insisting they don’t “destroy women’s sport”.
Kate Weatherly, a 24-year-old New Zealand rider, has criticized the new rules of world swimming’s governing body FINA, which would ban her from racing if they also applied to mountain bikers.
“People are talking about us coming in and destroying women’s sports, but there are much bigger issues facing women’s sports,” Weatherly insisted in an interview with 1 News.
“The idea that a few trans women come into sports — and often don’t even win — and that’s what will destroy women’s sports is pretty horrendous,” she said.
However, Weatherly’s own transition to women’s competition got off to an impressive start when she made the jump in 2018, as Stuff’s profile noted at the time.
Despite finishing in the middle of the men’s open division, a rung below the elite, she won her first women’s race by more than 30 seconds, as noted in the 2018 profile, ahead of the former junior world number two, who was one of many critics who took advantage of her unfair advantage.
Weatherly then went on to win the national championship in the women’s elite division – higher than she had competed in the men’s division – a win she repeated in 2019.
At the time, Weatherly insisted that much of the difference had to do with the fact that the hormone blockers she had been taking since she was 17 were ruining her chances in the men’s division.
“I was losing strength and speed on the tracks even though I trained and skated a lot,” she said at the time.
“It’s demoralizing – you’re trying to go as far as you can, but you’re going slower and slower.”
In an Instagram post this week, she insisted that hormone replacement therapy leaves transgender women with “practical testosterone levels, potentially less than our cis competitors, which increases recovery time and makes building muscle mass and bond density much more difficult.” .
“Because people are so focused on the benefits, they kind of ignore the fact that there are actually downsides that come with the transition,” she told 1 News.
She complained that FINA’s rules were too “harsh and dry” and “essentially bans trans women from competing.”
Separate unit proposals are just “going on for ‘other’ transgender people,” Weatherly complained.
It was part of an ugly approach of “trying to separate trans women from cis women – when we’re all women,” she said.
“On top of all that, as a society, we need to gain understanding and acceptance from queer people before we even have to worry about sports,” she insisted on Instagram.