Kristen Worley, Canada
It has been a long journey the last several years since the announcement by the International Olympic Committee’s [IOC] Stockholm Consensus in Spring 2004.
As a female athlete, and with support of many Canadian sport and scientific leaders, as well with the financial and policy support, of debunking the IOC’s consensus statement as it relates to gender in elite sport. Canada has for many years played a unique part in changing sport attitude and how we play sport as well how we develop policy around sport to ensure overall inclusion and participation in sport activities. Recognizing the values of inclusion and how we understand diversity within sport, and the positive impact on that of the greater global society, of which so few vehicles like sport can do.
Within sport, which is representative of a small window of greater society. That we choose in our society to hurt what we do not understand, or taking a moment, a step back and removing the boxes and broadening our thinking, to understand variances in human development which are common and normal. All to often, we have a tendency as we have seen in elite sport, to punish difference.
The IOC has a long history of mismanaging issues of gender very well. Of which, women have primarily been victims of invasive physical intervention for decades, from the years of the “gender parade” to “illegal sex testing practices”, which neither have any scientific data or expertise to determine ones gender, let alone competitive performance assumed competitive advantages. Where en-fact, the current research proves how disadvantaged the athletes are, and changes to the world anti-doping and therapeutic user Exemptions [TUE] require updated changes to accommodate these needs of athletes assuring them of equality, inclusion and safety, moreover to ensure the level of play as equals and safe on and off the playing the field.
Unfortunately, because of lacking science, research and social conscience in human development provoked historically by social ignorance, power of a brand and a controlled narrow binary of gender which none of us fit. The IOC has used this narrow social binary of women and men and the image athletic body and what it means to be an Olympian, has created undo harm and ridicule historically upon elite athletes do to complete ignorance, with no accountability or taking a greater responsibility to assure greater understanding of what is normal, which in turn has impacted all those in organized sport community or elite participation, how we do sport and the future development and growth of sport worldwide. Which has primarily impacted women and their abilities to evolve as strong bodied athletes, rather then being sexualized as they are now, and to be assumed seen as strong bodied. Projected as masculine takes away from their identities as women and therefore seen as a threat to the current Olympic ideology of what it means to be a female athlete, of which 99% of the women in elite sport do not fit into.
As a Canadian elite athlete, I am very proud of what we have accomplished in Canada the last several years, with the support of the Government of Canada and Canadian sport and science leaders, positioning ourselves on the forefront of which we hope will change how we do sport and greater society not just in Canada, but also internationally. Of which Canada has done so often, to educate through proper science, research, ethics practices and standards in sport. Assuring the protection of women and men and those most vulnerable in the system. Taking it directly out of the hands of the IOC and putting the responsibility directly in the hands all sport leaders, governments and countries engaged in the Olympic Movement, sharing and committed to the true meaning of the Olympic ideology. Assuring the empowerment, wellbeing community development and social inclusion, of which only a Sport For All environment, programming and attitude can do. This only occurs though through good research, ethics practices and common language of engagement.
Globe & Mail - I'm A Woman on the Move'
Hindustan Times - 'IOC Biggest threat to the future of global sport'
Hindustan Times - Who decides what is the definition of a woman?
New York Times - The XY Games
The Guardian - The Gender Trap