July 19, 2024

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Transgender runner Nikki Hiltz headed to Paris Olympics

Transgender runner Nikki Hiltz headed to Paris Olympics

Transgender and non-binary runner Nikki Hiltz ran the second-fastest time ever by an American in the women’s 1,500 meters at the U.S. Olympic trials on Sunday, qualifying for the 2024 Games in Paris.

Hiltz, who uses the first-person pronoun, moved ahead of Elle St-Pierre and Emily Mackay in the final stage of the race, finishing in 3:55.33, a trials record. Top 8 Contestants Hiltz set a new personal best, according to OutSports. Paris will be Hiltz’s first Olympic appearance.

in Post-race interview with NBC SportsThe race had significance beyond his personal achievement, said Hiltz, 29.

“This is bigger than just me. It’s the last day of Pride Month… I wanted to run this event for my community,” they said. “All the gay people, yeah, they’ve brought me home the last 100 years.” [meters]”I felt loved and supported.”

Hiltz said Elle St. Pierre, who finished third and was the top American in the women’s 1,500 meters at the Tokyo Olympics, pushed them and the other runners to accelerate faster. St. Pierre led for most of the race, finishing the first lap in 61 seconds.

“Ile Saint-Pierre has raised the bar for women’s distance running. I saw the time, and I didn’t think it was possible,” Hiltz told NBC Sports. “We all had to rise because of her… A great team to send to Paris.”

Pierre and second-place finisher Emily McKay also qualified for the Paris Olympics on Sunday.

Hiltz wrote in Posted on social media on Monday Their childhood dream came true when they qualified for the Paris Olympics.

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“I’m not sure when I’ll ever fully digest it,” they wrote. “All I know is that I wake up today so grateful for my people, overwhelmed with all the love and support, and filled with joy that I get to race people I love and respect so much around the track for a living.”

The International Olympic Committee updated its rules regarding transgender athletes in 2021 to be subject to the authority of each sport’s governing body.

Last year, the International Association of Athletics Federations, which oversees international track and field competitions, adopted a policy that bars all transgender athletes who have reached puberty from competing in women’s track and field categories. Transgender men are allowed to compete in men’s categories if they have a satisfactory, signed declaration of their gender identity.

The IAAF policy does not specifically refer to non-binary athletes, but those assigned female at birth are generally allowed to compete in female categories if they do not receive hormone treatment.

Hiltz won’t be the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics. Canadian soccer star Quinn became the first transgender and non-binary athlete to compete in the Tokyo 2022 Olympics. He then became the first transgender athlete to win an Olympic medal when Canada beat Sweden 3-2 on penalties.

Quinn was among at least 186 athletes from the LGBTQ community According to OutSports, Hiltz isn’t the only openly gay athlete to qualify for the Paris Olympics so far. Germany’s Timo Cavelius will be the next. first gay man To compete in Olympic judo, according to OutSports.

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