Jennifer Grosshandler (May 21, 2021) – Policies at the Olympic level allowing transgender athletes to compete have been in place for years, and yet we have never seen a transgender woman in the Olympics.
I can still feel the rough spots of asphalt underneath me, balanced on one knee, fingertips on the ground. I remained as still as possible, razor focused, ready to sprint. I was at the net, my gaze set on that white band at the top, not daring to look to my left as one of the world’s most celebrated tennis players, Chris Evert, served an ace.
It was the mid 1970s. I was eight years old and had been playing tennis half my life.
I am a woman who grew up in the world of sports. State ranked in Georgia by the age of 10, I was invited with my sister Melanie, also state ranked, to staff tournaments for the world’s best tennis players at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum (now McCamish Pavilion) on Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta.
Fast forward 30 years and I found running. In my life, there is no sport that fills me with such hope, clarity, with the sense that anything is possible, as the sport of running.
Jennifer Grosshandler ran the 2014 Boston Marathon.
The rush is so powerful, so healing, that it propelled me to two Boston Marathon finishes and multiple age group awards in the sport of triathlon.
Inspiration for The GenderCool Project
Women’s sports has defined my life in the deepest, most profound ways. It has allowed me to thrive personally and professionally in ways I could never have imagined.
Folks will be hard pressed to find someone more vigorously supportive of women’s sports than me.
As the mother of four, I have done everything I can to model for our three sons and our youngest, our daughter Chazzie, that finding their own connection to athletics can be one of the greatest joys in their lives.
Chazzie is 15 and proud to be transgender. She is fueled by her passion to volunteer, works hard in school, was the inspiration for The GenderCool Project, and is “open” to exercising with me.