A 29-year-old transgender woman beat a 13-year-old girl to take home the top prize in a skateboarding contest in New York City, reigniting the debate over whether new inclusivity pushes create an unfair advantage in women’s sports.
Ricci Tres, from Los Angeles, who was born a man but now identifies as a woman, won the women’s division of the Boardr Open street skateboarding competition and a $500 prize, with 13-year-old Shiloh Catori, from Florida, coming in second and taking a $250 prize.
Four of the six finalists were under the age of 17, with the youngest being 10-year-old Juri Iikura, who came in fifth. At 29, Tres was the oldest contestant.
Tres is 838 in the Boardr Global Rankings, compared to Catori’s 133 ranking.
Tres attempted to participate in the Women’s Street USA Skateboarding National Championships to aid in her bid to qualify for the Olympics but was rejected because she had too much testosterone, according to The Daily Mail.
The outlet said Tres took hormones to suppress her testosterone but still came in over the limit.
Tres served four years in the Navy and had three kids with her now ex-wife before becoming a woman, according to The Mail.
The pair still live together in Los Angeles and co-parent their children, according to the report.
“I am 28, I have three kids, I’m married, I did my time in the military, I own a company,” she said in an interview, according to the Mail. “I’ve decided that I like being pretty and cute.”
The transgender athlete’s victory sparked an outrage on social media among critics, who blasted Boardr Open for allowing a much older competitor assigned male at birth to face off against biological females — many of them more than half her age.
Skateboarder Taylor Silverman led the chorus of discontent, writing in an Instagram post: “Male wins women’s finals and money at Boardr Open NYC presented by DC today. My story is not unique in skateboarding.”
Silverman, who has been skateboarding for 11 years, previously complained on social media that she had lost to transgender rivals twice, including at the Redbull Cornerstone competition in May, when she missed out on $5,000 in prize money by coming in second.
“I deserved to place first, be acknowledged for my win, and get paid,” she wrote. “I reached out to Redbull and was ignored. I am sick of being bullied into silence.”
Silverman’s post from May 17 drew a mixed response, with some users fully supporting her stance, while others accused her of being a sore loser, with one commenter writing: “lol or you could just … be better at skating & actually win the already fair contest?”
Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, questioned the age disparity among the Big Apple contestants.
“Why are 28-29 year olds competing against children?” she wondered in a tweet.
In the interview, Tres suggested that she doesn’t feel that she’s fully a woman and that her transition was limited to hormone therapy.
“I know I will never be a woman, because women are miraculous, they have babies and create life and do all that awesome stuff,” she told the Mail. “I’ll never have that ability but I feel like I am a woman.”
She also rejected the notion that testosterone levels should dictate eligibility for female events.
“You can’t ask an elite professional athlete to compromise their health,” she said. “Besides the fact that I’ve explained transitioning as a sense of enlightenment has nothing to do with your testosterone level. It’s a matter of decision and feelings. And you’ve finally decided to be you.”
The controversy sparked by the skateboarding contest comes amid a broader national conversation about whether male-to-female transgender athletes have an unfair competitive edge over biological females.
The issue came to a head in March, when University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender women to win the NCAA’s Division I swimming championship.
Last week, the swimming’s world governing body, FINA, banned most transgender female athletes from competing in all major events, including the Olympic Games.