- Voice in the Wind Magazine Inc.
There was a huge controversy surrounding a trans athlete named Lia Thomas, who competes in swimming recently. I’m not going to judge, so don’t worry. This is a place for everyone. I’m actually not going to talk about anything related to gender or sexual orientation because I think it’s reductive. We’re people – and we’re so much more than just one characteristic. I’m simply going to give my take on a possible accommodation, in the form of one of my ideas/solutions.
As a very short man, I can’t think of any way I could compete in conventional sports, when almost every male athlete is an average of 6-feet tall. They tower over me. And I love sports. So what to do? I think it’s time to divide more sports by weight class. This means we weigh people and create a minimum and maximum weight to each class. In hockey (which I love and play) this would look like this: Men’s Lightweight Hockey League 100 lbs to 130 lbs; Middleweight 130 lbs to 160lbs; Heavyweight 160 lbs to 190 lbs; NHL 190lbs and up.
The reason I like this accommodation is two-fold. The first, is that I think it accommodates the largest number of non-conventional (see list below) athletes with the least amount of risk while competing (no significant spread in height and weight). The second reason is that it can be modified in one additional way to account for gender differences: a handi-cap, just like golf. This might allow men and women to compete head-to-head in certain non-contact sports. In other words, some sports could include a co-ed competition. I can’t think of a bigger boost to a woman’s ego than beating all the men in her category. So with a handicap of 15 lbs applied, light weight for women becomes 100 lbs to 145 lbs. This means that a woman between 130 lbs and 145 lbs could choose either light- or middleweight as her category. The idea here is that the weight classes are more accommodating than simple qualifiers, which tend to favour tall, strong and fast athletes. In other words, “bigger is better” is a common philosophy in sports, but maybe it’s also outdated.
NON-CONVENTIONAL ATHLETES (not an exhaustive list)
- Short Men
- Trans Athletes
- Older Athletes
I hope that in the future we can ask ourselves this question “what does ‘healthy’ look like?”. I believe this is the most basic and core element of creating solutions that serve the needs of the people. If we want to bring unity to fractured countries, like the U.S.A, we need to find ‘healthy’ in sports and in life. Thanks for reading this!!! Please like, share and subscribe to read my book. Follow me on twitter by clicking the little white bird on the homepage. Be well.
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