Surfer Bethany Hamilton says she won’t compete in WSL events if new transgender rules are upheld

Surfer Bethany Hamilton says she will not compete at future World Surfing Federation (WSL) events if it maintains its new policy towards transgender athletes, also said that she would like to see another division created for transgender people to compete.

WSL recently announced that it will adopt the International Surfing Association (ISA) policy on transgender participation, which requires transgender female athletes to maintain testosterone levels below 5nmol /L for at least 12 months to be able to compete in the women’s event. assignment.

In a video posted on Instagram on Sunday, Hamilton questioned: “Is hormone levels an honest and accurate depiction of whether someone is really male or female? Is it as simple as that? like this?”

“Personally, I wouldn’t compete or support the World Surf League if this rule remained,” she said.

Hamilton – a devout Christian – said the new rules “disturbed” her as a professional athlete who has competed in the WSL for more than 15 years.

The rules allow an athlete who was designated male at birth and is currently identified as female, to compete in women’s events, if their testosterone levels meet the requirements to compete as a female. is female.

“Personally, I think the best solution is to create another department so that all have a fair chance to showcase their passions and talents,” she added.

WSL said the policy change allows the sport to self-regulate according to Olympic guidelines.

“WSL is working to strike a balance between equity and equity, and we will continue to evaluate the policy in the coming months and years as more research, information and feedback becomes available,” WSL said in a statement. on Monday.

CNN has reached out to WSL for comment but has not received a response.


In a separate comment, responding to criticism of her video, Hamilton admitted it was a difficult subject.

“I really don’t think at this point in time there is one solution that pleases everyone. There are different worldviews and that’s part of life,” she wrote.

“I may not have the perfect answer. But I feel the same way and will continue to stand by what I share here.”

In 2003, Hamilton lost an arm in a shark attack while surfing in Kauai, Hawaii, when she was 13 years old.

Despite the injury, she quickly returned to the sport, going on to become a national champion and famous WSL athlete.

“I try to give love to all humanity, despite all the differences,” she said, adding that she wanted to “stand up” for others who fear being “ostracized” if they speak up.

“Were any current surfers in the World Surf League asked for their thoughts and opinions on this new rule before it was passed or announced? Should there be a meeting? chat?”

She has previously used her platform to speak out about transgender issues in sport and in her latest video she raised concerns about what she calls ” domination of the male body” in other women’s sports such as running and swimming.

“I think it’s hard to imagine what the future of women’s surfing will look like in 15 to 20 years if we continue to allow this massive change,” she said.

“My hope is that if I ever had a daughter who was competing in surfing or any sport, and for all generations of aspiring young women, there would be a bright opportunity and promising in the ambition to become the best of the best women in the world”. her sport.”

In a second video posted to Instagram on Tuesday, Hamilton addressed the backlash she received online after speaking out.

“I know the hammer of malice, cruelty and harshness will come down on me for not going with the flow, for having a different point of view, for being open and sharing my questions, thoughts, and views on the issues. new rules,” she said. , before claiming she was supported by other female surfers on the tour.

Other WSL surfers posted support messages in response to the video.

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