The IOC Just Responded to the Trolls Trying to Strip Caitlyn Jenner of Her Olympic Medal
Earlier this week, a group of Internet trolls launched a Change.org petition to have Caitlyn Jenner's 1976 Olympic gold medal for the decathlon revoked, arguing she violated the rules by competing against men. Though the argument seemed empty, the petition gained enough momentum that on Thursday, the International Olympic Committee responded with a loud and clear answer:
"Bruce Jenner won his gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games and there is no issue for the IOC," Mark Adams, IOC communications director, told Yahoo.
Caitlyn Jenner's debut on Monday as a woman on the front cover of Vanity Fair's July issue created a media frenzy, saturating the Internet with both positive and negative commentary.
Caitlyn's transition "creates somewhat of a problem as Ms. Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men's sports and vice versa," argues petition author Jennifer Bradford on Change.org, which was just hundreds shy of 15,000 signatures at the time of publication.
Bradford argues the petition was started in the name of equality. "It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the [decathlon] and that the men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself," she writes.
The IOC's decision to dismiss the calls for action came as a surprise to some, as the organization has a mixed history when it comes to supporting gay and transgender rights. They fell under criticism for capitulating to Russia's anti-gay laws when they hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it took years for the IOC to address the issue of gender segregation when it came to transgender athletes.
The historically traditional organization's willingness to respect Caitlyn and not engage bigots is a sign of hope for transgender people everywhere. For every hateful troll who attacks the likes of Jenner and everything she stands for, there are victories such as these.