Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Caitlyn Jenner’s Olympic career influenced by gender identity struggle

Caitlyn Jenner says her decision to become an Olympic athlete was influenced by her struggles with her gender identity.

The 70-year-old reality star was known as Bruce Jenner before her transition in 2015, and has said she was influenced to become an athlete – which saw her take home the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where she also broke the world record – after spending years "running from" her identity.

She said: "As I look back on my life – the impact and why did I do that. I think about it all the time, why was I so obsessed, train so hard to do that and accomplish that.

"It had a lot to do with who I was and the things I was running from, I want to put that on public perspective. The Olympics had a tremendous impact on my life and I’m incredibly proud of those achievements."

Caitlyn "learned a lot" about herself and her identity through her athletic career and the years that followed, and says she now feels like she can finally be herself "every day".

She added to the Daily Star Online: "I learnt a lot about myself, it’s actually interesting, my perspective today because obviously I’ve been through a lot, my identity, over the years.

"I finally got all this stuff straightened out and life is wonderful. I just wake up in the morning and be myself every day, I don’t have to play any games."

Meanwhile, the ‘I Am Cait’ star – who has Burt, 42, and Cassandra, 40, with Chrystie Jenner, Brandon, 39, and Brody, 37, with Linda Thompson, and Kendall, 24, and Kylie, 23, with Kris Jenner – recently said she was a "bad parent" at the height of her battle with gender dysphoria.

Caitlyn explained she had wanted to transition before she was 40, and her struggle meant she "wasn’t there" for her children.

Recalling the peak of her battle – which occurred before she welcomed youngest children Kendall and Kylie – she said: "For about four and a half years, I just tried my best to deal with it. Honestly, I thought I would transition before I’m 40.

"I would cross-dress and go out, but I never ever talked to anybody. I never talked to anybody, never did anything, never went anywhere, just drove around, you know? I got pretty good at it, so I never got caught.

"Those years, I was not a good parent. I had four kids. I was too busy struggling with my own issues and my own self. I very much regret that, that I wasn’t there more for my young kids."

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