Transgendered Athlete Vies for Spot on Olympic Team

Olympic hopeful Keelin GodseyUPDATE: Despite jumping from seventh to third place in the fourth round of competition and achieving a personal best, Godsey did not make the Olympic team at today's trials. The three-person hammer throw team will be: Amber Campbell, Amanda Bingson, and Jessica Cosby. Godsey came in 5th place.

Keelin Godsey, 28, was born a woman but identifies as a man. The 5'9", 186-pound hammer thrower is competing in the women's Olympic trials today in Eugene, Oregon; if he makes it on to the team, he'll be the first transgendered American athlete to go to the Olympic games. "I take a lot of pride in the fact that I have a good amount of muscle mass, and I've done it naturally," Godsey told Sports Illustrated. "But in some ways, this is the last body I would ever want."

Godsey grew up as "Kelly," in Parker, Colorado, and excelled in basketball, softball, soccer, and track. His success as an athlete didn't protect him from hostility for being "gay." He says he missed a lot of high school due to verbal and physical bullying by his classmates.

In the spring of 2005, shortly after breaking the women's NCAA Division III championships hammer record with a 195'4" throw, the then-Bates college junior came out as transgendered to his track and field team. He says his 30 teammates were "pretty awesome" about the announcement. He now lives openly as a man.

Godsey's bid is considered a long shot, his qualifying throw of 227'8" puts him about six inches behind the favorites, Jessica Cosby, Gwen Berry, and Amber Campbell. His mom Renee, however, is keeping the faith: "This has been a dream of Keelin's forever," she told the New York Times. "I have a very good feeling about Thursday." If Godsey does compete, he'll start gender reassignment therapy after the conclusion of the London Games.