“We want everyone to be able to enjoy swimming in the fairest possible way and I hope they take that into account.”
Olympic swimming gold medalist Ariarne Titmus is the latest athlete to be linked to the push against the inclusion of trans athletes in the sport after her plea to make it fair made the front page of News Corp’s newspapers on Thursday has been published.
If you thought the media circus surrounding trans women’s inclusion in sport ended when Katherine Deves surprisingly lost the 2022 election after weeks of enforcing anti-trans views, think again because the issue is still dominating the headlines , after trans swimmer Lia Thomas announced her intention to try out for the US Olympic team.
Titmus – along with Olympians Emma McKeon and Mack Horton – was asked about her thoughts on including trans people in sport at the launch of Speedo’s Commonwealth Games swimsuit on Wednesday. Unlike McKeon – who admitted she personally doesn’t want to compete against trans women – Titmus stalled from voicing a clear opinion, instead only claiming that she wanted it “fair.”
“I love swimming, everyone here loves swimming and I hope that … FINA [the world governing swimming body] Come up with rules that make it fair and comfortable for everyone,” Titmus said. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy swimming in the fairest possible way and I hope they take that into account.”
“I think right now we have to have faith in what FINA and the authorities are going to do.
“Hopefully they have our best interests in mind. We want everyone to enjoy our sport and I hope they take that into account.”
Thomas has allayed fears she poses a threat to women’s sport, stressing that she – obviously – didn’t just switch to win, which is a frankly ridiculous claim.
“Trans women competing in women’s sport are not a threat to women’s sport overall,” Thomas told ESPN. “Trans women are a very small minority of all athletes. The NCAA rules for trans women competing in women’s sports have been around for more than 10 years. And we haven’t seen a massive wave of dominant trans women.
When asked if she saw Thomas as a rival, Titmus simply stated that everyone she drives is a rival, reiterating her fairness point.
“I feel like sport has to be fair for everyone and I hope decisions are made to make sure it’s fair for everyone,” Titmus said. “But it doesn’t matter who the person is, everyone I drive is a rival of mine.”
FINA is yet to release its official inclusion policy for transgender athletes, but it remains extremely disappointing to see athletes fail to speak up about transphobia in sport.