Caitlyn Jenner petition calls for Olympic athlete to be stripped of medals after transition

Jenner won gold in the 1976 Summer Olympics

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Caitlyn Jenner’s transition was unveiled on the cover of a major fashion magazine just two days ago, but there are already calls for the former Olympic athlete to be stripped of her medals.

While much of the world is celebrating this ground-breaking moment for transgender visibility and rights, one campaign is attempting to use Jenner’s statement to Vanity Fair that she was “always living a lie” as Bruce as a skewed justification for revoking the medals she was awarded during her athletic career.

It claims that Jenner, who won gold in the decathlon during the 1976 Summer Olympics, violated committee rules by participating as a man when she “believed herself to be truly female”.

The petition states: “It has recently come to light that gold medalist Bruce Jenner is in fact transgender, and therefore, identifies as a woman. We congratulate Ms Jenner on these new developments and wish her the best.

“However, this creates somewhat of a problem as Ms Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men's sports and vice versa.

"It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the Decathalon and that the men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself.

bruce jenner olympics rex.jpg
Jenner competed at the 1976 Montreal Olympics

"We urge Ms Jenner to support the transgender community by giving up the medals earned by competing against the wrong gender."

Depressingly, the petition has been signed over 2,000 times and has spawned the hashtag #givebackthegold, along with a number of tweets demanding she hand her medal back.

The petition has been slammed as transphobic and "ridiculous" by many on social media, who reacted angrily to its launch. Bernard Reed OBE, a trustee of the Gender Identity, Research and Education Society, told The Independent the petition is "total nonsense".

He said: "At the time under the regulations of the International Olympic Committee she was permitted to compete only as a man and met all of the necessary criteria to do so. The situation would now be different if she ever did wish to compete as a woman at an international level, in which case she would have to satisfy certain requirements.”

Jenner is otherwise enjoying the support of leading figures including the US President Barack Obama, who tweeted her to praise the "courage" she demonstrated by sharing her story.

The Kardashian sisters, Demi Moore, Monica Lewinsky, Ellen DeGeneres and Kerry Washington were just a few of the other figures to applaud Jenner for helping others in the trans community by sharing her story on such a public platform.

Comments