Transgender Runner Qualifies for U.S. Olympic Team

It’s official: A transgender athlete is on the U.S. Olympic team.

That said, the athlete in question, 29-year-old Nikki Hiltz, will be competing in the category that correctly aligns with her sex.

Hiltz, a middle-distance runner, is a woman who identifies as “non-binary,” meaning she claims she is neither a man nor a woman. She uses the pronouns “they” and “them.”

On Sunday, she won the women’s 1,500-meter final at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, qualifying for this month’s Summer Olympics in Paris.

“Transgender runner Nikki Hiltz is headed to the Paris Olympics,” NBC News declared.


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After the qualifier, Hiltz talked about how glad she was to have garnered the achievement on the final day of LGBT “pride” month.

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“This is bigger than just me. It’s the last day of pride month. … I wanted to run this one for my community,” she said.

“All the LGBT folks, yeah, you guys brought me home that last hundred [meters]. I could just feel the love and support.”

Hiltz set an Olympic trial record for the 1,500-meter race, coming in at 3:55:33, according to NBC News.

The second and third-place runners, Ellen St. Pierre and Emily Mackay, also qualified to represent the U.S. at the Olympics in the women’s category.

In an Instagram post on Monday, Hiltz said going to the Olympics was a dream come true.


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“[W]oke up an Olympian,” she said.

“Yesterday afternoon in Eugene Oregon a childhood dream of mine came true. I’m not sure when this will fully sink in …

“All I know is today I’m waking up just so grateful for my people, overwhelmed by all the love and support, and filled with joy that I get to race people I deeply love and respect around a track for a living.”

The International Olympic Committee allows transgender athletes to compete in certain events and under certain circumstances.

In track and field, World Athletics dictates that men who went through puberty cannot compete in women’s sports.

However, the policy does allow women who claim to be men to compete in men’s events.

All that’s required for the second group is “signed declarations of their gender identities.”

The Paris Olympics begin on July 26.

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