Transgender swimmer, 50, sparks outrage in Canada after competing against teens, sharing locker room

The parents of young female athletes have spoken out after a 50-year-old transgender swimmer competed in women’s events and shared a locker room with children during a meet in Canada this month.

Several parents spoke to the Toronto Sun following the 2023 Trojan Cup in Barrie, Ontario, on Dec. 1-3 over concerns that Melody Wiseheart, a transgender swimmer, competed in events with teenage swimmers and shared a locker room with their children.

Wiseheart, 50, competed in several events at the East Bayfield Community Centre, where the meet was held, including the women’s 1500m freestyle for athletes 16 years and older. Wiseheart placed second in that event with a time of 21:14.30, according to the official results posted to Swimming Canada’s website.

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The age groups for the entire meet ranged from 8 years and younger to 16 and older. 

“It’s all so confusing for the kids,” one parent told the Toronto Sun. “No one is comfortable. Everybody is accepting of all people, but them swimming against our kids and being in the locker room with them is not appropriate.”

But Swimming Canada, the governing body for competitive swimming in the country, told Fox News Digital that access to changing rooms “is determined by facility/municipality policies in accordance with applicable law.”

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“We must comply with both provincial law and municipal policy aligning with the human rights policies on preventing discrimination. Swim meets are normally conducted in facilities open to the public, and minors routinely share change room space with adults,” the statement continued.

With regard to questions over different ages and/or genders being seeded in the same heat, Swimming Canada stated “There are, however, a variety of situations where this can occur in open meets seeded by entry times.”

Separately, Swim Ontario, the provincial governing body for the sport, also told the Toronto Sun that it “investigated a concern related to an adult competing against swimmers aged 12-14” for a different meet in October and found that the Richmond Hill Aquatic Club, which hosted the meet, “acted appropriately in hosting the competition according to Swimming Canada and Swim Ontario policies and procedures, including the Swimming Canada National Registration Procedures and Rules Manual and The Swimming Rules of Swimming Canada.”

Swim Ontario also clarified that athletes competing in an “open category” are seeded by entry time, regardless of age, which can result in adults swimming in heats against minors. 

Wiseheart also competed in that swim meet. 

World Aquatics, the international governing body for the sport, effectively banned male-to-female transgender athletes from competing in women’s events in 2022 after updating its policy to only allow swimmers who transitioned before age 12 or the early stages of puberty. 

Wiseheart did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment when reached by email.

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