Female Athlete Fighting For Women’s Sport

Madison DeBos of Southern Utah University has written an op-ed.

Madison DeBos (center) at the Bob Larsen Invite at UCLA, March 2022

Madison is a long distance specialist. Top 10 in the 1,500m and 5K as a collegiate Junior. And she has seen a few important changes during her career.

One day at practice during my freshman year, our coach told us that another team in our conference had an athlete who had previously competed on the men’s team who now identified as female and would be competing against us. This biological male runner had posted the same time in the 1,500-meter as the fastest woman in the world in that event — 3:50. Now, it was my teammates and I who were being forced to compete against someone who had already broken the female record. 

Here’s another quote:

At the indoor Big Sky Championships in 2020, I started the distance medley relay for our team, and the biological male runner anchored the relay for the University of Montana. That’s when we heard the athlete’s coach say something no one expected to hear: "Slow down." 

Slow down to give the appearance of a fair fight, I suppose. But we watched as this athlete went on to take first place in the mile — replacing a female runner on the podium. 

When you show up at a conference meet and see a biological male athlete towering over you, way more muscular and with a completely different build than any female on the starting blocks, it is at first surprising. Then, quickly, disheartening and even heartbreaking. How do I stand a chance, despite my nearly two decades of training for this moment?

Entire Op-Ed is here.