Transgender female athlete ‘180cm 72kg’ steps on stage at Korea’s first Domin Sports Festival

After surgery last year, ‘woman’ on resident registration… There is nothing wrong with taking part in the competition according to the rules

“I want to be controversial… I have to expand the participation category from ‘men and women’ to ‘minorities'”

Na Hwa-rin, the first in Korea to participate in the Domin Sports Festival

[촬영 양지웅]

(Cheorwon = Yonhap News) Reporter Yang Ji-woong = Height 180 cm, weight 72 kg, skeletal muscle mass 32.7 kg. A woman in her 30s with a strong body competes in a cycling event at a major sporting event.

He lived most of his life as a man. It’s only been a year since she had sex reassignment surgery.

At the moment, the official gender is ‘female’.

He asks us questions as he pedals hard with his muscular thighs and calves.

“Is my participation in the competition fair? If not, what will I do?”

If you look at the story above at first glance, you’ll think it’s a story across the sea… ‘ you might think.

However, this is actually a work in progress in Korea, especially in Gangwon-do.

The main character of the story is Hwarin Na, 37, who runs an asparagus farm in Cheorwon.

Since I was young, I wanted to be a woman. So, I endured for 36 years, and after laying the foundation for independence, I underwent gender reassignment (gender confirmation) surgery at Gangdong Sacred Heart Hospital in Seoul last year.

The last digit of the resident’s registration number was also changed to 2.

A flag hanging in the village at the time of winning 4 crowns at the 47th Domin Sports Festival

[나화린씨 제공. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

He has always loved riding a bike. Because of his talent, he won first place six times in big and small competitions.

In particular, in the 47th Gangwon-do People’s Sports Festival held in 2012, he won four categories, including the 1km individual race and the 4km individual pursuit in the men’s cycling category.

Na, who became a woman last year, cast her vote for the women’s category of three cycling events at the 58th Gangwon Provincial Sports Festival to be held in Yangyang this weekend.

As a transgender woman, this will be the first time in Korea to participate in the Domin Sports Festival.

Although she has been receiving female hormone injections for a long time and even went on the operating table last year, her participation in the competition is expected to cause a stir in society beyond the sporting world.

In particular, a big question mark can be thrown at the subject of ‘fairness’, to which the younger generation reacts most sensitively.

Hubbard is the first transgender to win a medal at the World Weightlifting Championships

(Anaheim EPA = Yonhap News) Transgender historian Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand lifts weights during the World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, California, USA, on February 5, 2011.

This debate has already ignited the foreign sports world.

In March last year in the UK, transgender cyclist Emily Bridges (21) was informed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) that she was not eligible to compete.

Bridges, who identified as transgender and was undergoing hormone therapy to transition from male to female, had to withdraw from the competition citing fairness issues with other female players.

In addition to cycling, the participation of transgender women in various sports such as swimming, track and field, rugby, and weightlifting has caused controversy.

No, also, it is not free from these problems.

He is now a woman, but until last year, he was a man for 36 years, and he was raised with a male body and was exposed to conditions that make it easier for him to have a larger bone structure and a lot of mass muscles than a woman.

In fact, as a result of a recent measurement, his skeletal muscle mass was 32.7 kg, which is much more than the average female average of 20 to 22 kg.

As a result of checking with the Gangwon-do Sports Association, there is no problem with Na taking part in the competition.

This is because there are no restrictions other than gender on women’s participation.

Hwarin Na’s past games

[나화린씨 제공. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

When asked if the purpose of taking part in the competition was to win a prize, he said confidently.

“I want to be controversial.”

Na knew that her participation would be controversial and fairness issues would arise.

He said, “I know very well that if I receive an award, I will not receive sympathy and recognition from the public, and in the end I will not be honored.”

He added, “In the end, I wanted to talk about difference, not discrimination, through my life-and-death competition.”

In the end, Mr. Don’t want to throw a question mark, ‘why can’t this be done by differentiating LGBTI people as a third gender, just like dividing weight classes in games?

Hwarin Na is interviewed by Yonhap News.

[촬영 양지웅]

If Na achieves excellent results in this competition, the road to the National Sports Festival will become wider.

This is because Gangwon-do has a small number of female riders, so the winner of the Domin Sports Festival has the advantage of participating in the national competition.

As a result of confirmation by the Korean Olympic Committee, there is no basis for clearly limiting his participation in the competition as there is no separate content for transgender people other than ‘men and women of Korean nationality’ in the regulations for participation in the National. Sports Festival.

Na said, “If my participation in the National Sports Festival steals someone’s place, I will be very worried, but if not, I will be proud to step on that stage.”

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2023/06/01 07:00 Sent


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