A transgender athlete who will represent the U.S. at the upcoming Olympics has threatened to burn the American flag on the medal stand.
BMX Freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe, who qualified as an alternate, has said that winning an Olympic medal would provide a chance to “burn a US flag on the podium.”
Ms. Wolfe, who was born a male, attacked the Trump administration in a May 25, 2020, repost of a PinkNews story about the Trump administration’s opposition to biological males competing in women’s sports.
“My goal is to win the Olympics so I can burn a US flag on the podium. This is what they focus on during a pandemic. Hurting trans children,” Ms. Wolfe wrote.
The post has since been deleted, but Fox News posted it Monday, prompting the bike rider to release a statement calling the Trump administration fascist and that the post doesn’t reflect hatred of the U.S. per se.
“Anyone who thinks that I don’t care about the United States is sorely mistaken,” Ms. Wolfe said. “One of the reasons why I work so hard to represent the United States in international competition is to show the world that this country has morals and values, that it’s not all of the bad things that we’re known for. I take a stand against fascism because I care about this country and I’m not going to let it fall into the hands of fascists after so many people have fought and sacrificed to prevent fascism from taking hold abroad. As a citizen who wants to be proud of my home country, I’m sure as hell not going to let it take hold here.”
The International Olympic Committee permits biological men from competing in the female division under specified conditions, including low levels of testosterone for at least one year prior to competition, and a pledge not to detransition upon penalty of losing the ability to compete as a woman.
Ms. Wolfe will be a reserve behind two female freestyle riders — Perris Benegas and Hannah Roberts.
“She will travel to Tokyo and train with the team but will not compete unless a confirmed rider cannot compete,” Angelina Palermo, USA Cycling spokesperson, told The Washington Times last week.
Beth Stelzer, president of Save Women’s Sports, called it a “shame” that Ms. Wolfe had sidelined a biological female.
“It is an absolute shame that in the first year of women’s BMX in the Olympics there will be a male alternate on the women’s team,” Ms. Stelzer in an email. “There are women who fought hard to obtain this division in the Olympics; one of those women will now have to sit on the sidelines.”
• Valerie Richardson contributed to this report.