Nike has released a new ad featuring Chris Mosier, a duathlete (that’s running and cycling) who was chosen for Team USA for the 2016 World Championship. Mosier is the first transgender athlete to be chosen for a U.S. national team.
There were questions as to whether he would be able to compete due to policies regarding transgender athletes. He qualified in 2015, after beginning competing as a transgender man in 2010. Mosier reached out to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Triathlon Union upon qualifying, challenging the rule requiring “full lower” sex reassignment surgery. The IOC ruled in January that transgender athletes are able to compete without having had surgery.
Trans men are free to compete without restriction. Trans women no longer have to have surgery and must have testosterone levels equal to or below those of cisgender women, reports The Washington Post.
A study published last year showed that as testosterone levels in transgender women decrease, so too does muscle mass, bone density and other physical characteristics.
The ad’s theme “Unlimited Courage,” is explored through Mosier’s determination to both athletic excellence and to fight for equality and acceptance.
Mosier is asked a series of questions: “How did you know you’d be fast enough to compete against men? Or strong enough? How’d you know the team would accept you? Or that you’d even be allowed to compete?”
Mosier’s answer to each one: “I didn’t.”
“Didn’t you ever want to give up?” Mosier is asked.
“Yes,” he says, “But I didn’t.”
Watch the ad below.