A champion cyclist has quit the sport after repeated beatings by transgender athletes, admitting in a heartbreaking post: “I lose no matter how hard I train.”
Hannah Arensmen, a 35-time winner on the national cyclocross circuit, revealed her ordeal in an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in support of legislation in West Virginia that seeks to bar transgender student-athletes from competing outside of their biological gender.
Currently, a lower court injunction is barring the law from enforcement over claims it violates federal Title IX protections against sex discrimination in education.
Arensmen is among 67 athletes, coaches and family members who have called for the Supreme Court to intervene, giving a moving account of how she felt “overlooked and humiliated” when male-born athletes outran her. .
It comes as transgender cyclist Tiffany Thomas, 46, edged out the competition at the Randall’s Island Crit event in New York over the weekend. Thomas, who started biking in 2018, is 14 years older than her older teammate.
Hannah Arensmen (pictured), a 35-time winner on the national cyclo-cross circuit, revealed her ordeal in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of West Virginia legislation that seeks to ban transgender student-athletes from competing against people alien to their biological gender.
Tiffany Thomas, center, took first place at the Randall’s Island Crit bike race in New York City over the weekend.
Writing in her amicus brief to the Supreme Court, Arensmen said: ‘I was born into a family of athletes. Encouraged by my parents and siblings, I competed in sports from an early age and followed in my sister’s footsteps, rising through the ranks to become an elite cyclocross racer.
‘For the past few years I have had to compete directly with male riders in women’s events.
“As this has become a reality, it has become increasingly daunting to train as hard as I do only to have to lose to a man with the unfair advantage of an androgenized body which inherently gives him an obvious advantage over me. , no matter how hard I train.
I have decided to end my cycling career. At my last race at the recent UCI Cyclo-cross National Championships in the elite women’s category in December 2022, I came in fourth, flanked on either side by male riders who took third and fifth.
“My sister and family wept to see a man finish in front of me, having witnessed several physical interactions with him during the race.
Also, it’s hard for me to think about the real possibility that I was passed over for international selection on Team USA at Cyclocross Worlds in February 2023 because of a male competitor.
“Moving forward, I feel for the girls learning to compete and growing up in a day when they no longer have a fair shot at being the new record holders and champions in cycling because men want to compete in our division.
“I have been deeply angry, disappointed, ignored and humiliated that women’s sports legislators no longer feel it is necessary to protect women’s sports to ensure fair competition for women.”
In West Virginia, the state’s attorney general, Patrick Morrissey, earlier this month filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court asking it to overturn a lower court decision so he could enforce his Save Women’s Sports law.
Signed into law in 2021, the law seeks to prohibit transgender women and girls from participating in public school sports, except against those of their biological gender.
The law is being challenged by 12-year-old Becky Pepper-Jackson, who has been able to compete in high school track and field events as a result of a court order from the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Pepper-Jackson’s lawyers argued in court documents filed Monday that the state’s claim that the injunction harms it is unfounded.
Hannah Arensmen, left, in a post on her Instagram account. She retired from the sport after being outclassed by trans athletes.
Hannah Arensen, center, with friends at a cycling event
“In short, the Request does not approach the type of urgent and compelling circumstances required for extraordinary relief from this Court,” the filing says.
“There is no basis for this Court to order BPJ off the playing field where he has been for his entire high school career to date and where no one is harmed by his presence.”
Lawyers said that enforcing the law would cause BPJ to lose his “second family”.
Morrisey, a Republican, defended the law, stating, “Our case is simple: It’s about protecting opportunities for women and girls in sports.”
West Virginia lawmakers argue that transgender women and girls have physical advantages over biological women that ruin competition in sports.
At least eight states have enacted similar bans by 2022.