A U.S. Olympic athlete is in the spotlight this week for a now-deleted Facebook post expressing a desire to burn the American flag on the podium.
Chelsea Wolfe, who qualified as an alternate for the Tokyo Olympics and already was the focus of attention for being a transgender athlete, made the social media comments in a March 2020 Facebook post.
Wolfe, who is biologically male but identifies as female, is listed as a member of the National Team. The now-deleted Facebook post referenced a story about a Trump administration policy that opposed the state of Connecticut allowing biological males to compete as females. Two transgender athletes had won more than a dozen state track titles in Connecticut.
Wolfe also wrote in the Facebook post, “This is what they focus on during a pandemic. Hurting trans children.”
The comments, Wolfe said, derived from a love of country.
“Anyone who thinks that I don’t care about the United States is sorely mistaken,” Wolfe told Fox News. “One of the reasons why I work so hard to represent the United States in international competition is to show the world that this country has morals and values, that it’s not all of the bad things that we’re known for. I take a stand against fascism because I care about this country and I’m not going to let it fall into the hands of fascists after so many people have fought and sacrificed to prevent fascism from taking hold abroad. As a citizen who wants to be proud of my home country, I’m sure as h-ll not going to let it take hold here.”
Wolfe had transitioned before beginning competition as an amateur in 2014, according to USA Today.
“I searched for so long trying to find out if there had ever been a professional trans BMX rider to show me that who I am would be okay and unfortunately I found no one,” Wolfe wrote June 12 on Instagram. “Eventually I started to meet some amazing women who helped me accept that I am a woman just like any other and that I deserve a place to exist in the world just like everyone else,” Wolfe concluded.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Atsushi Tomura/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.