UPDATE: This story was updated on December 20th following our new, exclusive interview with Chris Mosier.
Big news from transgender athlete Chris Mosier on Wednesday: he’s won a slot in the Olympic Trials for Team USA.
“I qualified for Team USA in duathlon earlier this year,” Mosier told The Trans Sporter Room podcast on Thursday. “Duathlon is not an Olympic sport, so I’ll be going to the World Championships, but that’s sorta the highest I can go.”
A suggestion from his trainer — “the number five race walker in the country” — convinced him to try a different sport: race walking, something he told Karleigh Webb and me he’d never ever considered doing.
And as it turns out, race walking is Mosier’s ticket to the Olympic trials.
Mosier will be competing in the Men’s 50K Race Walk Championship next month in Santee, Calif., the event that will determine who competes in Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Up to three athletes will be selected by Team USA officials.
Although Mosier is not the first transgender man to compete in the Olympic Trials — that honor fell to track and field athlete Keelin Godsey in 2008 and 2012 — the Nike “Be True” star noted in his post that he will be the first trans man to compete in the Olympic Trials in the gender with which he identifies, and the first trans man to compete with men.
View this post on Instagram
I’M COMPETING IN THE OLYMPIC TRIALS! . I’m registered - I will be competing in the Men’s 50k race walk Olympic Trials race, which will be the race that selects the (up to) three athletes who will go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. . I’ve been told I’ll be the first to compete in the Olympic Trials in a category other than my birth gender (meaning the first transgender athlete to compete in the gender with which they identify), and the first trans men to compete with men, but I will NOT be the first trans athlete to compete in the Trials. History lesson: . In 2008, Keelin Godsey was the first openly transgender athlete to compete for a spot on the United States Olympic team. Godsey was assigned female at birth & transitioned socially; he openly identified as male since 2005 & competed in women's hammer throw competitions in the 2008 & 2012 Olympic Trials, narrowly missing a shot at the Olympics on the women’s team. . Please feel free to fact check me here - I don’t know of anyone else but I will proudly celebrate anyone who came before me! - - - - - Transgender athletes do have a place in sport - even at the highest levels. ✊ - - - - - #imagedescription Chris Mosier wears a grey hoodie and smiles with an open mouth. He holds a laptop computer and points at the screen, which says “2020 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS - MEN’S 50KM RACE WALK AND USATF WOMEN’S 50 KM RACE WALK CHAMPIONSHIP.” Slide two is a close up of the computer screen text. . #transathlete #teamusa #racewalk #racewalking #usatf #trans #lgbtq #queer #queerathlete #chrismosier #thisiswhattranslookslike #transisbeautiful #wontbeerased #nike #nodaysoff #nobaddays #history
Because Godsey competed with women, Mosier was the first trans man to compete as a male athlete on Team USA. In 2015, he earned a spot in the men’s 35-39 sprint duathlon world championship of 2016.
“Transgender athletes do have a place in sport,” Mosier wrote in his post, “even at the highest levels.”
Earlier this week, he posted a moving, very personal inspirational message for his followers.
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Overthinking what others would think or say about me caused me to delay many decisions and actions in my life, and in turn, delay my own happiness. . From wearing what makes me comfortable to asking to be addressed by the pronouns that I felt best fit for me, from telling people I am trans to really going all in on my dreams as an athlete or self employed worker, there are countless times when I allowed my fears of other people’s opinions interfere with my pursuit of passion and authenticity. . Advice to a younger me: No one knows you better than YOU know yourself. Trust yourself. . Know this: most people are not thinking about you or judging you - they are too busy judging themselves and worrying about what others think of them. And those who are judging you are doing so because of a lack of their own self confidence, not because anything is wrong with you. . Confidence is, in these cases, acknowledging your worry about what others will think or say, knowing what you want to do or feel called to, and deciding you love yourself more than you fear the opinions of others. . And trust me: you’ve got this confidence deep down inside. You do. It takes practice to find at times, but your happiness is worth looking for it. . #betrue . #imagedescription Chris Mosier wears blue @nikeswim briefs and goggles around his neck while standing in a pool deck. He holds a blue swim cap in his hand. A blue sky shines through large windows behind him. . #transathlete #swimming #swimmer #transswimmer #speedo #pool #ffcchicago #trimonsters #triathlete #duathlete #teamusa #trans #ftm #transandshirtless #queer #gayathlete #instagay #abs #thisiswhattranslookslike #transisbeautiful #nodaysoff #nobaddays
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