Finland presents 59-year-old transgender skater to European Figure Skating Championships
Finland made a special show of virtue in signaling to the transgender community by presenting a 59-year-old transgender farmer who carried the country’s flag during the opening ceremony of the European Figure Skating Championships in Espoo, Finland, Wednesday.
The skater, Minna-Maaria Antikainen, formerly known as Markku-Pekka Antikainen, is a 59-year-old biological man who suddenly came out as trans a few years ago and decided to take up figure skating. During the ceremony, Antikainen performed a sort of shaky, slow-motion spin around the ice, then fell and couldn’t get up until a young woman skated in to offer a helping hand.
Antikainen ended the show by waving the national colors of Finland.
“The Opening Ceremony will feature skaters of different skill levels, from non-professionals to top athletes. On the ice, we will see individual skaters, synchronized skaters and pairs. The performers include figure skater Minna-Maaria Antikainen, who defines herself as gender neutral, adaptive skating performers and a men’s synchronized skating team,” coach Helena Tienhaara said ahead of the event, according to The Post. Millennial.
Clearly stinging with criticism, the Executive Director of the Finnish Figure Skating Association and General Secretary of the ISU European Figure Skating Championships, Outi Wuorenheimo, tried to justify the inclusion of the aging trans skater, saying that this decision was a strike for diversity.
“We want to change the world of figure skating by showing that talking about a skater’s weight is not the top priority, but that muscular and healthy athletes can also succeed at the highest level. It is important that we have skaters of different sizes in competitions,” exclaimed Wuorenheimo.
The competition press release also states that Antikainen was invited for “diversity”.
“Figure skating is a very conservative sport with various strict rules. In international competitions, same-sex skating pairs are not allowed and there is no category for non-binary skaters. I hope every country will start working for equality and diversity on the pitch,” exclaimed Wuorenheimo.
“We want to change the world of figure skating by showing that talking about a skater’s weight is not the top priority, but that muscular and healthy athletes can also succeed at the highest level. It is important that we have skaters of different sizes in competitions,” added Wuorenheimo.
“If we want to change the world, we must actively and visibly work on it and create rules that correspond to our values. This is just the beginning of the journey, but we have the opportunity to continue and lead the way,” concluded the skating official.
Taitoluistelija Minna-Maaria Antikainen, 56, on vahva mies ja upea nainen samassa kehossa. Tänään maailmanlaajuisesti vietettävän transihmisten muistopäivän kunniaksi erikoisartikkeli on nyt vapaasti kaikkien luettavissa. https://t.co/0nlOOUn0dd#TransDayofRemembrance #joensuu pic.twitter.com/E9Uj8ySVcE
— Sanomalehti Karjalainen (@KarjalainenFi) November 20, 2019
59-year-old farmer Markku-Pekka Antikainen started figure skating at 50 and now performs under the female name “Minna-Maaria” at the opening ceremony of the European Figure Skating Championships #Espoo2023to mixed effect.https://t.co/BP4tkfL5UO https://t.co/3qgDdIMsW3 pic.twitter.com/blQjSPwoRr
— ystrïya (we/us) (@yatakalam) January 28, 2023
The sports world has been awash in controversy over transgender athletes for several years. Some sports have welcomed athletes born as males competing against biological females, while others have gone in the opposite direction.
More recently, World Athletics officials bowed to the radical trans agenda by announcing that it would allow men posing as women to compete as women.
In 2022, the NCAA adopted rules allowing trans athletes to compete under the gender of their choice which it said corresponded to regulations adopted by the United States and International Olympic Committees.
On the other hand, rugby has banned athletes born as males from competing as females.
Several US states have proposed bills banning transgender athletes from schools, while others have already taken steps to limit trans athletes to one degree or another. Only last month, a bill that would have banned men from running while women failed to pass the Ohio Senate.
At least 18 states have considered laws banning men from competing in women’s sports, a move that gathered momentum in 2022 when UPenn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas claimed victory at the NCAA championships against her competitors despite her lackluster record swimming as a man.
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