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CeCé Telfer, transgender athlete who won NCAA title, vows to 'take all the records' in indoor competitions
June 24 2024, 08:00

CeCé Telfer, a transgender athlete who won an NCAA women’s track and field championship in 2019, vowed in a recent interview to return to indoor competition and come away with wins.

Telfer sparked controversy earlier this year with wins in indoor track meets in the New England area. However, with a new book out, Telfer vowed to take home more than just a medal.


"I look forward to indoor track, because 2024 indoors is going to be epic," Telfer said in an interview with Them. "My dreams were taken away from me once again. So I plan on going back to New England, hitting up all the indoor competitions, and taking all the names, all the records, and everything.

"That doesn’t look like first all the time, that doesn’t look like second place, that doesn’t look like podium all the time, but the track meets that count will count. That’s what’s burning this fire in my heart and in my body. So it’s keeping me going to know that I can go to indoor competitions and still be the girl to talk about, period."

The NCAA has yet to outline specific rules regarding transgender athletes in sports. The NCAA said it would follow the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and each sport would follow the national governing body for each sport. If there was no national governing body, then each sport would abide by the international policy. The NCAA updated its transgender policy starting on Jan. 19, 2022, and the final implementation begins on Aug. 1.


The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) banned transgender athletes in women’s sports earlier this year.

The NAIA said its decision was rooted in "fair and safe competition for all student-athletes" and that "Title IX ensures there are separate and equal opportunities for female athletes." The organization said only athletes whose biological sex is female may participate in "NAIA-sponsored female sports." The policy goes into effect on Aug. 1.

Telfer, who competed for Franklin Pierce University, was "heartbroken" and "distraught" over the rules.

"Because I’m like, why are we going back? Why are we reverting? We’re literally going back in history," Telfer said. "This is not real life, because we were moving forward and now we’re moving backwards. This is scary. The fact that people are powerful enough to move backwards is scary, not only for transgender women, but it should be scary for society at large because people think that [anti-trans advocates are] going to stop at transgender women. No. They’ve always been policing women’s bodies. It’s going down to cis women and what’s going on in their lives and their bodies.

"It breaks my heart because I had an opportunity. The NCAA saw me. They gave me a chance to be that voice and be that physical change, and they were taking a step in the right direction and obviously creating history, hoping that other organizations would follow."

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