Transgender BMX freestyle rider Chelsea Wolfe said last year that he wants to win in the Olympics so he can “burn a US flag on the podium.” It appears his dream might actually become a reality, since Wolfe, a biological male, qualified on Monday as an alternate for Team USA’s women’s BMX freestyle event at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“My goal is to win the Olympics so I can burn a US flag on the podium. This is what they focus on during a pandemic. Hurting trans children,” Wolfe wrote on Facebook in March 2020, along with a link to a PinkNews story about the Trump administration’s stance on males in female sports.
Wolfe told Fox News that “anyone who thinks that I don’t care about the United States is sorely mistaken,” arguing that his mere presence at the Olympics would prove to the world that the United States “has morals and values.” He also said his dedication to “tak[ing] a stand against fascism” proves he cares for the United States. Wolfe did not say, however, whether he still plans to burn the American flag if he makes it to the podium.
Anyone who thinks that I don’t care about the United States is sorely mistaken. One of the reasons why I work so hard to represent the United States in international competition is to show the world that this country has morals and values, that it’s not all of the bad things that we’re known for. I take a stand against fascism because I care about this country and I’m not going to let it fall into the hands of fascists after so many people have fought and sacrificed to prevent fascism from taking hold abroad. As a citizen who wants to be proud of my home country, I’m sure as hell not going to let it take hold here.
In addition to fantasizing about burning the U.S. flag in front of the world, Wolfe made comments in the replies of his Facebook post suggesting that then-President Donald Trump should be assassinated, according to Ian Miles Cheong, who first reported on the story.
Wolfe later clarified his comments, writing in the replies, “I would never say that someone should explode the head of the president. That would be illegal. But I will say ‘with dynamite.’ Because that’s just a sentence fragment and doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s not necessarily related to the sentence that came before it.”
This year marks the first Olympic Games in which transgender athletes will compete, with Laurel Hubbard, a 43-year-old biological male, representing New Zealand in women’s weightlifting.
In 2015, the International Olympic Committee began allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports so long as their testosterone level is shown to be 10 nanomoles per liter or less for at least a year before competition. “That criteria is 5 to 33 percent higher than the average testosterone levels in biological females, which is considered to be between 0.3 and 2.4 nanomoles per liter,” wrote The Federalist’s Maggie Hroncich. The rules also let males compete without undergoing surgery to remove their testes.
Earlier this month, Wolfe wrote on Instagram that he “deserve[s] a place to exist in the world,” presumably meaning he deserves to participate in women’s sports.
“I searched for so long trying to find out if there had ever been a professional trans bmx rider to show me that who I am would be okay and unfortunately I found no one,” Wolfe wrote on Instagram on June 12. “Eventually I started to meet some amazing women who helped me accept that I am a woman just like any other and that I deserve a place to exist in the world just like everyone else.”
Whether Wolfe will indeed burn the American flag on the world stage if he competes in the Olympic Games against women has yet to be seen.