Sports

22 Famous Transgender Athletes You Should Know 

LGBT
Updated November 6, 2017 31.6k views 22 items

List Rules A comprehensive list of famous and notable athletes around the world and throughout history.

Athletic ability seems to trump binary concepts of gender. That's certainly true in the cases of these notable transgender athletes. These men and women have made their mark in a number of areas in the sporting world. Some talented trans athletes competed at the college level while other great transgender athletes vied for international titles. But it's not all medals and glory – many famous trans athletes have fought against various forms of discrimination.

Who will you find on this list of famous transgender athletes? Caitlyn Jenner appears at the top. She inspired U.S. sports fans when she – then Bruce – won the gold medal in the decathlon in 1976. Jenner came out as transgender in a 2015 interview with Diane Sawyer. Mianne Bagger is the first openly transgender woman to play in a professional golf tournament. Balian Buschbaum – then Yvonne – competed as a pole vaulter in the 2000 Olympic games. In 2007, Buschbaum began to take hormones to transition and revealed his new identity the following year. "I feel as if I am a man and have to live my life in the body of a woman. I am aware of the fact that transsexuality is a fringe issue, and I do not want to be responsible for it remaining on the fringe," he said.

Which transgender athlete do you find to be the most inspiring? Take a look at this list and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

 

Caitlyn Jenner is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 22 Famous Transgender Athletes You Should Know
Photo: Daily Mail/via Pinterest

Jenner inspired U.S. sports fans during the 1976 Olympics by winning the gold medal in the decathlon. She came out as transgender in a 2015 interview with Diane Sawyer. Besides her athletic accomplishments, Jenner is known for starring in the reality TV shows Keeping Up with the Kardashians and I Am Cait.

Age: 69

Birthplace: USA, New York, Mount Kisco

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Balian Buschbaum is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 22 Famous Transgender Athletes You Should Know
Photo: tumblr.com/via Pinterest

Balian Buschbaum – then Yvonne – competed as a pole vaulter in the 2000 Olympic games. In 2007, Buschbaum began to take hormones to transition and revealed his new identity the following year. "I feel as if I am a man and have to live my life in the body of a woman. I am aware of the fact that transsexuality is a fringe issue, and I do not want to be responsible for it remaining on the fringe," he said.

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Fallon Fox is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 22 Famous Transgender Athletes You Should Know
Photo:  BuzzFeed/via Pinterest
Fallon Fox

Fallon Fox is the first openly transgender woman to compete in MMA. Her decision to compete as a woman has been the subject of criticism by some of her peers, with Ronda Rousey calling her birth-assigned gender "an [unfair] advantage."
 

Age: 43

Birthplace: Toledo, Ohio

Andreas Krieger is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 22 Famous Transgender Athletes You Should Know
Photo:  Wolfgang Thieme/via Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Krieger – then Heidi – won the gold medal in shot put at the European Championships in 1986. Krieger underwent a female to male sex change operation in 1997. At a young age, he was unknowingly given steroids by East German officials in order to perform better athletically. Krieger attributes his sexual identity to being given these drugs. ''They killed Heidi," he said.

Age: 52

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany