Transgender Athlete Nahwa Lin Competes In First Official South Korean Match
South Korea’s first transgender woman officially competed in the Gangwon Provincial Games, which began yesterday (March 3). She is a cyclist named Na Hwa-lin. “I want to create controversy,” said Na, who won her first event. This year’s Gangwon-do People’s Sports Games featured a special figure. Na Hwa-lin is the first transgender woman in Korea to compete in an official event. Na, who runs an asparagus farm in Cheorwon, underwent sex reassignment surgery on October 17 last year, and on April 7 this year, she received permission from the court to correct her gender, making her legally a woman. As predicted, Na competed in the women’s first round of the competition in Yangyang and took first place, beating out representatives from Gangneung and Chuncheon. NShe took the lead from the start and stayed there throughout the race, crossing the finish line first. Na is 180 centimeters tall, weighs 72 kilograms, and has 32.7 kilograms sportstotozone of skeletal muscle mass, more than 10 kilograms more than the average for women. Previously, there was talk that her participation in the 2012 Gangwon Provincial Games could turn into a fairness controversy, as she was able to compete against male athletes, winning four medals in the men’s cycling event. After consulting with the Korea Olympic Committee and others, the Gangwon Provincial Athletic Association, which organizes the Games, concluded that there was no problem with her participation, opening the door for her first challenge. Na realizes the controversy she has caused and that some female athletes may be affected. “It’s about creating a space for LGBTQ athletes to fit into the categories that are set up for men and women,” she said. If she is selected to represent her province at the Games, she will have a pathway to the national championships. The Korean Sports Federation is currently reviewing its internal regulations.