Caitlyn Jenner: I trained 12 years for Olympics and 65 years to transition
She won Olympic gold in 1976.
Caitlyn Jenner has said training for the Olympic Games was nothing compared with a lifetime preparing to transition.
The gold medal-winning decathlete achieved athletic glory in 1976, but believes coming out as a trans woman in 2015 was her greatest feat.
Jenner, 70, said that her Olympic success was loved and appreciated, unlike her transition, which provoked “hatred”.
The former athlete and reality TV star believes her intense sports training was an attempt to run from her internal problems.
Everyone loved the Games, a lot of people when they see you transition hate your guts. Look at the quotes on Instagram. By far that was a lot more difficult Caitlyn Jenner
Jenner spoke on BBC Radio 4 podcast Don’t Tell Me The Score about Olympic fame trapping her in a body she doubted.
She said: “I trained 12 years for the Games. I trained 65 years to transition in 2015. It was harder to do, it was less accepted.
“Everyone loved the Games, a lot of people when they see you transition hate your guts. Look at the quotes on Instagram. By far that was a lot more difficult.”
She added on being an Olympian: “A lot of the training was really running away from the issues I had. I remember getting up the next morning, didn’t have a stitch of clothes on, walking to the bathroom, medal sitting there on the table, put the medal around my neck, looking in the mirror and I go, ‘What have you just done? Am I stuck with this person the rest of my life?’ It was scary.”
Jenner said that the sporting world was very good to her, and provided valuable opportunities.
Asked her position on trans athletes, she said the Olympic Committee was doing a “good job”, adding that trans people should be able to compete.
Despite raising considerable sums for trans causes, Jenner said she is not always welcome within the community.
She said: “A lot of them are extraordinarily appreciative of it. On the other hand, they’re having their big fundraiser and say, ‘Oh please don’t show up, you’re too controversial’.”
The full interview with Jenner can be heard on Don’t Tell Me The Score, available to listen to on BBC Sounds.