Cynthia Monteleone is a world champion track athlete who specializes in the 400 meter. At the 2018 World Masters Athletics Championships in Málaga, Spain, Monteleone competed against Yanelle Del Mar Zape, a transgender athlete from Colombia. Monteleone beat Zape by a few tenths of a second to make it to the final round of the 200 meters race. But at the April 2019 World Championship indoor meet in Torun, Poland, Zape won bronze in the 80-meter hurdles, beating Monteleone’s teammate who, according to Monteleone, “trained harder than anyone I know in the hurdles.”
When Cynthia tried to voice concerns over the fairness of a biological male competing against women, USA Track and Field administrators told her, “For your own safety, you might want to keep your mouth shut.”
Then, last year, Cynthia’s 16-year-old daughter Margaret Oneal Monteleone, a sophomore at St. Anthony School in Maui, Hawaii, also found herself competing against a biological male in high school track. Margaret placed second behind the transgender athlete in her first and only track meet of the season before COVID-19 hit.
In the video above, Cynthia and her daughter share with Independent Women’s Forum their stories of competing against biological men, why it’s unfair, and why they’re speaking up to save women’s sports.
Do you have a female athlete story? Share your story here.