OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:07 AM – Saturday, December 16, 2023
A 50-year-old transgender swimmer competed against teen girls and used the same locker room as girls as young as eight years old.
Once competing under the name Nicholas Cepeda, Melody Wiseheart competed in Barrie, Ontario, at the Trojan Cup, sharing a locker room with many young girls.
According to some of the parents present, family members were building makeshift tents out of towels to shield the young girls.
“The girls were terrified,” an unidentified parent of one of the teenagers told the press.
This month, the 50-year-old took part in a number of events, including the women’s 1500-meter freestyle for athletes 16 and older, where Wiseheart finished second.
According to reports, the York University professor started competing against girls in 2019.
Many parents spoke out to the press, stating that not only did they feel uncomfortable, but Wiseheart competing against the young girls was not fair.
“We have no idea why it’s allowed,” one parent said. “We know it’s not fair to the girls who are training in their sport, some of whom are hoping for scholarships.”
Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario, which sanctioned the competition, defended Wiseheart’s participation, stating that athletes are seeded by entry time regardless of their age.
“In partnership with Swimming Canada, Swim Ontario has a robust system of policies, procedures, and rules that support our member clubs in providing a competitive experience that is safe, welcoming, and inclusive for all participants,” the organization said. “Swim Ontario investigated concerns related to an adult competing against swimmers aged 12–14 during a recent competition hosted by the Richmond Hill Aquatic Club and determined that RHAC acted appropriately in hosting the competition.”
Responding to the changing room complaints, the organizations stated that access to changing rooms “is determined by facility or municipality policies in accordance with applicable law.”
“Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario believe swimming is for everyone… People of all shapes, sizes, genders, beliefs, and backgrounds should have the opportunity to swim to the best of their ability, with the expectation that our registrants treat each other with respect and dignity and keep our sports environment free from harassment and abuse.”
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