A transgender woman who once vowed to compete in the Olympics so she could “burn a US flag on the podium” has qualified as an alternate for Team USA’s BMX freestyle event at the upcoming games in Tokyo, it was revealed Monday.
Chelsea Wolfe, a 28-year-old Florida native, was beaming with pride in a photo shared with her 7,700 Instagram followers on June 12 announcing she was named as an alternate on the team.
“I am positively a different person than when I set off on this journey and I’m so grateful for every experience along the way and I’m so excited and honored to keep working so I’m ready to shred in Tokyo in case I’m needed,” Wolfe wrote alongside a photo of herself smiling through a helmet.
She made her intentions clear last year in a since-deleted Facebook post about why she wanted to qualify, Fox News reported Monday.
“My goal is to win the Olympics so I can burn a US flag on the podium,” Wolfe reportedly wrote on March 25, 2020 alongside an online article about how trans girls should be treated as biological males in school sports. “This is what they focus on during a pandemic. Hurting trans children.”
Asked for comment on the since-removed post, Wolfe told Fox News it doesn’t indicate she doesn’t “care about the United States,” insisting that anyone who thinks so is “sorely mistaken,” according to the report.
“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,” Wolfe told Fox News. “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.”
Wolfe, who said she “wants to be proud” of the United States, insisted she “sure as hell” isn’t going to let fascism take hold there.
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender person selected to compete for a medal at the Olympic Games when she was selected for the national team on Monday, the Washington Post reported.
Authorities in the southwest Pacific island nation noted that Hubbard met International Olympic Committee rules for testosterone levels and had not changed her declared gender identity in the last four years.
Wolfe’s bio page, meanwhile, says she got her start in freestyle competitions in Florida’s BMX circuit in 2014 before spending the next few years riding across the state. She later placed third at both the US National and Pan-American Championships in 2019.
“Qualifying to represent the US national team for the sport that I love is something I consider to be one of my life’s greatest achievements,” Wolf said. “Through so many obstacles in my way on top of the standard challenges that every athlete will face when working for this dream I persevered and the difficulty of this task is why I’m so proud to accomplish it.”
It remains to be seen if Wolf will carry out her earlier vow if she ultimately competes in the Games, which are set to start July 23.
But days after being named to Team USA as an alternate, Wolf declared herself to be a “game changer” on Instagram.
“Through our collective efforts we can break new ground, shatter glass ceilings, and pave the way for other dreamers,” Wolfe wrote. “The work is never done. Let’s all continue to innovate, blaze trails, lead. It’s your move.”