International Olympic Committee scoffs at petition demanding Caitlyn Jenner give back gold medal

Despite amassing nearly 12,000 supporters in under three days, the International Olympic Committee is looking on

Published June 4, 2015 7:39PM (EDT)

             (Vanity Fair/Annie Leibowitz)
(Vanity Fair/Annie Leibowitz)

A petition is urging the International Olympic Committee to revoke Caitlyn Jenner's 1976 gold medal -- and, scarier, people seem to be pretty on board with it. The petition launched only three days ago has already raked in nearly 12,000 supporters.

Jennifer Bradford of Fort Worth, Texas claims that, because Jenner now openly identifies as a woman, she owes it to the transgender community to forfeit her gold.

Bradford writes:

Dear International Olympic Committee,

It has recently come to light that gold medalist Bruce Jenner is in fact transgender, and therefore, identifies as a woman. We congratulate Ms. Jenner on these new developments and wish her the best. However, this creates somewhat of a problem as Ms. Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men's sports and vice versa. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that we must ask whether or not it is proper that Ms. Jenner should retain her olympic records in light of this, as we must now either claim that Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner are two entirely different people (which we know is not true), or that Bruce Jenner was, in fact, a woman participating in a men's event. It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the Decathalon and that the men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself.

We urge Ms. Jenner to support the transgender community by giving up the medals earned by competing against the wrong gender.

Thank you, and congratulations to Ms. Jenner for her courage!


Despite hefty online support, the petition is already being smacked down by the IOC, the organization behind the Olympic games. IOC Communications Director Mark Adams told Yahoo in a statement Thursday, "Bruce Jenner won his gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Games and there is no issue for the IOC."

The IOC has encountered difficulty setting guidelines around gender in the past. Back in 2004, the IOC's best attempt was announcing that it would allow transgender athletes to compete against their chosen peers under two conditions: 1) they'd have to undergo gender reassignment surgery and 2) have completed at least two years of hormone therapy (either testosterone suppression or testosterone supplementation).

Next month, Jenner will be receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards (and no she was not picked ahead of Noah Galloway).

By Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email

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