For the integrity of women’s sports, 20-year-old athlete Chelsea Mitchell from Connecticut is taking a stand against a policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in girls’ sports.
Mitchell calls herself “the fastest girl in Connecticut” and is now suing her state for its regulations. She is joined by Selina Soule, Ashley Nicoletti, and Alanna Smith, who are fellow Connecticut residents who also ran high school track.
Chelsea is suing the Connecticut Association of Schools and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Their objective is to overturn the policy that permits transgender athletes to compete based on gender identity rather than biological sex.
When Chelsea broke two school records in her first competition as a freshman at Canton High School in 2016, she became aware of her athletic abilities. She said: “Since then I just kept going with it and got better and better. Track is really just about hitting those long-term goals that you’ve set for yourself.”
Chelsea pursued her passion for track, setting long-term goals for herself such as winning a state championship.
Chelsea’s dreams were hindered when she was forced to compete against a transgender athlete in a statewide competition, an experience she had never encountered before. She was disqualified from moving on to the competition’s next round in that race due to the trans competitor.
Mitchell said, “It was just obvious to everyone there that they had a huge advantage. Everyone could see it.”
Mitchell went on to claim that during her sophomore year, two transgender athletes were routinely outperforming biological female track stars. In every big race Mitchell entered during her four years of high school, she faced off against them.
She told The Post: “Just two athletes took so many opportunities away from biological females. Even though there were only two of them, they took 15 state championships away from other girls — and there were 85 girls that were directly impacted from them being in the races.”
As a result, she personally lost two All-New England awards and four girls’ state titles.
She complained about the state’s practises under Title IX in her junior year, but she chose to stay anonymous out of concern that it may harm her chances of being accepted to college.
But by her senior year, she had “reached a breaking point.” She then joined Selina Soule and Alanna Smith in their lawsuit.
She stated: “It was like, if I don’t speak up for myself, who else is going to speak up for me? As much as I wanted the coaches and administrators to speak up, at the end of the day, they weren’t.”
After being rejected by a Second Circuit three-judge panel in December, her case will be heard again before the full Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City on June 6.
Mitchell’s lawyer Matt Sharp stated: “We’re hopeful that the court will declare that this Connecticut policy violates Title IX. We’re asking for the court to recognize the damage done to Chelsea and the other athletes, and to restore their record and the credit that they rightfully worked hard to earn.”
The athletes want the court to mandate that their sporting records be changed to reflect the championships and rankings they would have achieved had trans athletes not been competing against them in their application with the Second Circuit.
Mitchell is still holding out hope as her court battle enters its third year, and she is seeing a coalition form around her. She said: “We were the first girls to speak out about this issue, but now there are so many more girls speaking out about their own experiences and standing up with us. The more of us there are, the easier it gets.”
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