Who is Chelsea Wolfe? Trans BMX rider slammed for vowing to burn US flag at Olympics
Chelsea Wolfe has been selected to represent USA in the Olympics BMX freestyle event
The internet is furious after a transgender woman athlete has qualified as an alternate for Team USA's BMX freestyle event at the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics. The reason behind the fury is the person had once vowed to compete at the Olympics so they could "burn a US flag on the podium." Identified as Chelsea Wolfe, the athlete announced the news on June 12 to her thousands of Instagram followers who celebrated her success by sending words of encouragement and offering support. But a week later, the public opinion on Wolfe's selection seems to have reversed, after Fox News reported on a since-deleted Facebook post the athlete had made those proclamations on. Fired up with rage, social media has since called Wolfe's selection a "disgrace" and demanded her disqualification from the category.
Wolfe's selection accompanies that of Laurel Hubbard, who made history by becoming the first transgender athlete to ever compete at the Olympics women's weightlifting event. She had made the comments a year ago on a Facebook post alongside an article about how transgender girls should be treated as males during competition in school sports. Wolfe had written, "This is what they focus on during a pandemic. Hurting trans children.” When Fox News asked Wolfe about the since-removed post, she told the outlet that her post doesn't mean she doesn't “care about the United States,” and added that anybody who assumed so, was “sorely mistaken." Social media, however, doesn't care.
Who is Chelsea Wolfe?
The Florida native, 28, sparked massive outrage online when her comments from a year ago about burning the US flag were outed in the wake of her Olympic selection. Beaming with pride in the photos she shared with her 7,700 Instagram followers, Wolfe had written a lengthy caption expressing gratitude at the selection, on June 12. “I am positively a different person than when I set off on this journey and I’m so grateful for every experience along the way and I’m so excited and honored to keep working so I’m ready to shred in Tokyo in case I’m needed,” Wolfe wrote alongside several photos of her in her biking gear.
Wolfe had reportedly started BMX racing at just 6 years old and is expected to compete in the Summer Olympics starting July 23, if her qualifying teammates, Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas, can’t give it a go. According to her bio, Wolfe got a start in the freestyle competitions in Florida’s BMX circuit back in 2014 and spent the next few years riding across the state. She later came third in both the US National and Pan-American Championships in 2019.
Wolfe called herself a 'gamechanger'
With regards to her Facebook post from March 2020, Wolfe clarified to Fox News recently: "One of the reasons why I work so hard to represent the United States in international competition is to show the world that this country has morals and values, that it’s not all of the bad things that we’re known for. I take a stand against fascism because I care about this country and I’m not going to let it fall into the hands of fascists after so many people have fought and sacrificed to prevent fascism from taking hold abroad.”
Wolfe also insisted she “wants to be proud” of the United States, adding she “sure as hell” won't let fascism win there. “Qualifying to represent the US national team for the sport that I love is something I consider to be one of my life’s greatest achievements,” Wolfe told the outlet. “Through so many obstacles in my way on top of the standard challenges that every athlete will face when working for this dream I persevered and the difficulty of this task is why I’m so proud to accomplish it.”
On Instagram, however, Wolfe has already declared herself a “game changer”. In the post announcing her selection, the athlete added: "Through our collective efforts we can break new ground, shatter glass ceilings, and pave the way for other dreamers,” Wolfe wrote. “The work is never done. Let’s all conijnue to innovate, blaze trails, lead. It’s your move." Social media however is having a tough time being supportive of this decision in the wake of Wolfe's past intentions with the American flag.
Internet wants Wolfe disqualified
"Chelsea Wolfe needs to be removed from the team representing the United States of America in the Olympics. Anybody who hates America enough to want to burn the American flag on the podium don't deserve to be on the Olympic stage," tweeted one person. Another shared: "#ChelseaWolfe is disgusting. If you hate the #USA so much, leave. He is a mentally ill man who should not be competing with women, nor should he have ever been chosen to represent our country. I hope he gets help. Just another man wanting to beat women."
Others cut to the chase with posts like "Chelsea Wolf should not be allowed to compete for the US. #chelseawolfe is a disgrace," and "Chelsea Wolfe must be disqualified for AntiAmericanism. American patriots don’t burn our flag! Anyone that does should find another country to live in." One user even went on to note how this might potentially reflect on the LGBTQ++ community, writing: "Chelsea Wolfe is a man dressed unconvincingly as a woman whose sole Olympic ambition is to burn the American flag in the podium. And they wonder why LGBT acceptance levels are plummeting."
Chelsea Wolfe needs to be removed from the team representing the United States of America in the Olympics. Anybody who hates America enough to want to burn the American flag on the podium don't deserve to be on the Olympic stage.— Mike Englund (@menglund) June 23, 2021
#ChelseaWolfe is disgusting. If you hate the #USA so much, leave. He is a mentally ill man who should not be competing with women, nor should he have ever been chosen to represent our country. I hope he gets help. Just another man wanting to beat women. @Olympics @NBCOlympics— LimitedCharacterComments (@CommentsLimited) June 23, 2021
Darn right!— UniterOne01 (@UniterOne01) June 23, 2021
Chelsea Wolfe must be disqualified for AntiAmericanism.
American patriots don’t burn our flag!
Anyone that does should find another country to live in.
Chelsea Wolf should not be allowed to compete for the US. #chelseawolfe is a disgrace— Katrina ETwin (@Sebastian82067) June 23, 2021
Chelsea Wolfe is a man dressed unconvincingly as a woman whose sole Olympic ambition is to burn the American flag in the podium.— Son of the ALP (@ALPIdiotSon) June 23, 2021
And they wonder why LGBT acceptance levels are plummeting. https://t.co/b7ZLSgJir4 pic.twitter.com/DqtxIxCqqZ