It’s only a few more days until the Tokyo Olympics and the Opening Ceremony. Most of us are going to be glued to our TV’s, but things will likely not be what we anticipate in the pandemic era. Tokyo is now in a state of emergency and battling a surge in COVID cases, and the excitement of cheering crowds will be missing this time around. There won’t be big welcomes at the airport for athletes, and they will be somewhat isolated and locked down in the Olympic village.
But there’s an even bigger issue unfolding for this Tokyo Olympics. These games may sound the death knell for women’s sport. It’s likely to be the wokest Olympics ever. Not only might we expect taking a knee in support of Black Lives Matter or political gestures, but the big issue is the inclusion of transgender athletes in female competitions.
There is a growing outcry that biological males are allowed to participate in female categories. It’s likely to be an Olympics like no other in history. It’s being called unfair, and for some sports extremely unsafe. Kirralie Smith leads the organisation called Binary and has been one of the voices standing up to the rampant campaign to de-gender Australian society. Kirralie joined us for this 20Twenty discussion to share her thoughts about the future of women’s sport.
Kirralie believes this situation is absolutely devastating for those female athletes who are now having to compete against male bodied athletes. But it’s also devastating to people who have loved the Olympics and watched it throughout their lifetimes. Many people in the community are really upset about the fact that there are several transgender people who have been accepted as females in their sporting teams in New Zealand, Canada, and the U S. They have effectively stolen positions from female competitors who have sacrificed so much to even make the team.
“I guess these sorts of things start with a trickle and ultimately end up in a flood,” says Kirralie. “It all comes back to that definition of the terms, male and female. In Australia and around the world the biological definitions of male and female have become either ignored, irrelevant or redefined. And that’s why we’re going to see the death of women’s sport, because it will mean now that males who have the physical advantage over women in sport will be able to dominate.”
Sport has always been about the biological definition, and now that’s being thrown out the window. The rules now allow for any male who wants to self-identify as a female to participate. But many of the male bodied athletes that have either reached an age where they’re not competitive anymore, or they’re able to dominate in a female category.
Kirralie believes that identity politics has become the dominating factor in so many areas, whether it’s advertising, business and now sport. “Unfortunately, it really undermines the amazing achievements of the athletes because the focus will be taken off the incredible talents and skills of some of these people. The discussions will be around the political aspects, whether it is Black Lives Matter or the transgender issue or something else but that’s not what the Olympics was ever meant to be about. It’s going to skew the whole meaning, with athletes showcasing their skills and abilities onto highly charged political issues and ideologies that have no place in sport.”
Kirralie says for the Japanese people, and many of the athletes themselves and their families, this Olympics has been hijacked. “It’s been completely hijacked by political ideologies. And again, it’s something that I think we will look back on and history will not record well.”
Listen below to hear the rest of Kirralie’s discussion with Neil about the upcoming Olympics.
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