A former women’s cycling champion is calling it a career just a couple months after losing a race to a biological male who was allowed to compete in her sport.
“It has become increasingly discouraging to train as hard as I do only to have to lose to a man with the unfair advantage of an androgenized body that intrinsically gives him an obvious advantage over me, no matter how hard I train,” said Hannah Arensman in a statement released and shared by the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS).
In her last race in the elite women’s division of the UCI Cyclocross National, Arensman came in fourth place, between biological males who placed third and fifth. The champion cyclist says her family “sobbed” as they watched a transgender rider finish in front of her, knocking Arensman out of the top three.
Arensman also says she was likely overlooked for an international selection on the U.S. team at Cyclocross Worlds in February due to the allowance of biological males in the event.
The cyclist also worried that young girls will be disadvantaged if the gender-bending trend continues, making it nearly impossible for actual women to hold records in their own sport.
“I have felt deeply angered, disappointed, overlooked, and humiliated that the rule makers of women’s sports do not feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women anymore,” Arensman said in a separate statement, given for a Supreme Court case regarding the issue of biological males competing in women’s sports.
Arensman joins 66 other women in the court filing involving women at all levels of competitive sports who have been affected by biological males competing alongside them.
Just days after Arensman’s retirement announcement, trans cyclist Tiffany Thomas, 47 and biologically male, won his 20th race since 2018, saying he felt like a “superhero” in the event. Thomas was already in his 40’s when he started racing, 10-20 years older than his teammates.
Thomas was criticized online for his “superhero” comment but responded by claiming the two women on the podium next to him will “assuredly beat” him in the future and were “just as strong.”
In fact, the two women are not just as strong as Thomas, which is why critics like Arensman and hundreds of other female athletes are battling for the integrity of their sports.