The most decorated student-athlete in Bates College's history, 16-time All-American Keelin Godsey '06, came out as transgender before the beginning of his senior year with the Bates women's track and field team in 2005, changing his name from Kelly to Keelin and his self-identification from female to male.
Godsey's experiences before 2005 and since then, from athletic feats to personal trials, are recounted in a special report published in the May 28 issue of Sports Illustrated, "The Transgender Athlete," co-written by Pablo S. Torre and David Epstein. The lead art for the story is a two-page photo of Godsey swinging the hammer, and there are two other photos of him inside the story.
Godsey surpassed the qualifying standard for this summer's Olympic Games in London at a meet last month and seeks a top-three finish at the Olympic Trials in Oregon on June 20 (1pm Pacific) to make the U.S. team. (Update: Godsey finished fifth at the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 20, with a personal-record mark of 70.48 meters).
The story focuses on Godsey, as well as a handful of the other most prominent cases thus far of transgender athletes at elite levels of competition, including former George Washington women's basketball player Kye Allums last year.
- "The Transgender Athlete," in Sports Illustrated, May 28, 2012.
- Godsey's story is one of "many reasons that I am a proud alum of Bates College," blogs Amy Bass '92, College of New Rochelle professor of history and sports scholar. She's also the supervisor of NBC's Olympic Research Room.
- "Transgender Athlete Fails to Qualify," in The New York Times, June 22, 2012.
- Read Steve Solloway's column in the June 21 Portland Press Herald about Godsey, "Showing a strength that can't be measured."
- "Transgender Athlete Looks to Qualify in Hammer," in The New York Times, June 21, 2012.
- Q & A with Godsey that appeared in Bates Magazine in 2006.
- Kalle Oakes' feature story from Godsey's senior year at Bates, in the Lewiston Sun Journal, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006.
An excerpt from the Sports Illustrated story:
He was born as a female and therefore competes as a female, but he identifies as male. Imagine a body, especially one as finely tuned as an elite athlete's, feeling inescapably foreign -- as if it were intended for the opposite sex. "I take a lot of pride in the fact that I have a good amount of muscle mass, and I've done it naturally," says Godsey. "But in some ways, this is the last body I would ever want."
Another Bates throwing great is featured in the same issue of Sports Illustrated. David Pless '13, perhaps the greatest thrower in Bates men's track and field history, is one of the "Faces in the Crowd."