Keelin Godsey, who is poised to compete in the women’s hammer throw at the United States Olympic trials Thursday, could become the first-ever transgender athlete to represent the United States at the Olympic Games.
Godsey, 28, was born female and had an extraordinary athletic career as a member of the track and field team at Bates College. Godsey racked up 16 all-American awards there and placed first in the women’s hammer throw at the NCAA Division III championships in 2005.
During his senior year at Bates, Godsey plunged into the difficult process of changing his gender identity. While he now identifies as male, he still competes as a female, and has continued to excel in the women’s hammer throw, meeting the Olympic qualifying standard with a throw of 227 feet 8 inches. He’ll need to place in the top three among 24 contenders in order to qualify for the Olympics.
If Godsey qualifies, he’ll be the first American Olympic contender in any sport to openly identify as transgender.