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Chelsea Wolfe is a trans athlete on Team USA hoping to make history at the Olympics

No publicly out trans athlete has competed in the Olympics before. Chelsea Wolfe may be the first, in BMX freestyle.

FISE Hiroshima - Day 3
Chelsea Wolfe will compete in the BMX Freestyle World Cup, and she has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

There has never been a publicly out trans athlete competing in the Olympics. Chelsea Wolfe is trying to change that.

The BMX freestyle rider has already represented the United States at the World Cup earlier this year, and is slated to represent the USA at the World Championships next year.

With BMX freestyle making its Olympic debut in 2020, Wolfe is positioning herself to take part. In just her rookie season on the world scene, Wolfe finished ranked fifth. An issue complicating her Olympic aspirations is that the top two athletes in the world are also Americans. Team USA will likely bring two female BMX freestyle riders to Tokyo.

On my latest episode of Five Rings To Rule Them All, I talk with Wolfe about the road to Tokyo, why she has a legit shot to make Team USA, the struggles of being a woman in her sport, and how she’s navigated the sometimes mysterious trans-inclusion policies of BMX freestyle.

Part of what motivates Wolfe is the dearth of trans role models in her sport she had as she was growing up. Until she came onto the scene, she knew of no trans athletes doing what she does.

“When the opportunity arose to start my career, I realized that if there is going to be that person who blazes a trail it’s going to have to be me,” Wolfe said. “So as far as being visible as a trans athlete, what I do love is I get to be the person I needed when I was younger, which is very healing for me. And also it just feels amazing any time I hear that I’ve helped someone feel comfortable in their skin doing what they love to do.”

With Wolfe’s national and international success, no one will again be able to say that they don’t have a trans role model in BMX freestyle.

Check out my complete interview with Wolfe, who is set to be a force on the BMX freestyle scene for years to come.

You can follow Chelsea Wolfe on Twitter or on Instagram @chelseawolfebmx.