The Mat-Su Borough Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on July 18 in support of protecting female Arctic Winter Games athletes from biological male competitors who claim they are female.
The Mat-Su is hosting the upcoming Games in March of next year, when approximately 2,000 young athletes from around the circumpolar world are expected to compete in events across the Mat-Su. Athletes will hail from Alaska, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Greenland, Nunavik, Northern Alberta and the Indigenous people of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Held every two years, the weeklong event features 21 sports, ranging from badminton and table tennis to team sports like basketball and ice hockey. Winter sports include skiing, snowboarding and biathlon, among others. There will also be traditional Arctic games such as stick pull, hand games and pole push.
According to the Mat-Su resolution, the borough supports the separation of males and females sports to ensure “competitive fairness and promotion of broad and equal participation.” The resolution adds that athletes who personally identify as “transgender” should have an opportunity to compete, but that “the integrity of female sports should be preserved.”
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
It goes on to note that “science, biology, and common sense expose the unfair advantage biological male athletes possess when pitted against female athletes in competition.”
Arctic Winter Games is governed by international associations for each sport. At the most recent Arctic Winter Games in Canada, no governing bodies permitted biological males to compete in events designated for females.
Eligibility to register for individual events in the Arctic Winter Games is based on age and sex, as verified by passports or birth certificates. Athletes can only be registered in events that match the sex listed on their official documents.
The Mat-Su resolution supports this policy, and concludes by encouraging Arctic Winter Games to “maintain its current policies to prioritize competitive fairness and safety in the Arctic Winter Games while allowing all athletes to participate in activities.”