Mack Beggs came here to wrestle. And wrestle he did, manhandling four opponents over two days as he captured a Class 6A girls state championship Saturday.
The 110-pound gold medalist also captured something else: The attention of a nation increasingly polarized by transgender issues.
Beggs, a 17-year-old transgender boy from Euless Trinity High School, didn’t come to the state tournament seeking to carry the transgender torch, or to become a lightning rod, or to be the target of a lawsuit that could end his high school wrestling career.
But those subplots all played out during the two-day UIL Wrestling State Tournament at the Berry Center in Cypress, where Beggs defeated Chelsea Sanchez of Katy Morton Ranch 12-1 to win the championship.
His victory was greeted with a smattering of boos, but those were quickly drowned out by an outburst of cheering, which grew louder when Trinity coach Travis Clark put the gold medal around Beggs’ neck.
“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my teammates. That’s honestly what the spotlight should have been … my teammates,” said Beggs, who led the Trinity girls to a second-place finish in the team standings.
“The hard work that I put in in the practice room with them beside me — we trained hard every single day. … That’s where the spotlight should have been on. Not me. All of these guys. Because I would not be here without them. Hard work ethic pays off.”
Then, lifting his gold medal, he said, “Just saying.”
Beggs was born a girl, yet from as early as 3 years old, his parents remember, he has considered himself a boy. Now more than a year after starting testosterone treatment that is transforming his physical appearance and increasing muscle mass to that of or near a boy of similar age, Beggs is required by the University Interscholastic League to compete as a girl and against girls.
He would prefer to wrestle boys, but lacking that option, he follows the rules set by the UIL, the state’s governing body for public school sports.
“This is about Mack wanting to do what Mack wants to do,” said Marco Karam, Beggs’ father. “Mack has a very strong passion about wrestling. People make assumptions that … and I don’t want to get into it.”
Grandmother Nancy Beggs said she was proud of both her grandson and the school he represents.
“Mack handled it (the pressure) great, better than I could handle it. Mack’s a great kid and you’ll be hearing from him, I promise,” Nancy Beggs said. “He’s a trooper and he said he’ll change the world. I think he will — at least the wrestling world.”
The UIL and testosterone
Beggs kept the two-day event squarely focused on wrestling and had been silent until after Saturday’s championship match.
There was certainly plenty of pressure with Beggs’ transgender story exploding beyond wrestling circles following last week’s regional tournament amid the revelation that a lawsuit had been filed to ban Beggs from wrestling in the girls division next season.
“The overwhelming sentiment here is that Mack should be allowed to wrestle, but should be required to compete against the boys,” said Coppell attorney Jim Baudhuin, who filed the suit.
Nancy Beggs, who accompanies her grandson to every tournament, said she is concerned about the lawsuit, but that they have the support of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district.
“We’re going back on Monday, the superintendent and the coaches are going to put something together, but until we have the attorney there, we can’t talk anything about that,” Nancy Beggs said.
More than 600 Texas school district superintendents voted nearly unanimously last year to determine gender by birth certificate, forcing Beggs to face girls despite taking testosterone, a decision that runs counter to NCAA policy and International Olympic Committee guidelines.
The UIL likely never expected a decision decried by multiple medical and transgender experts to come home to roost so soon.
UIL deputy executive director Jamey Harrison held three news conferences during the two days, with Beggs being the lone topic each time. After Beggs’ final victory, Harrison took exception that the majority of the large number of state and national media in attendance focused on one of 768 wrestlers in the state tournament.
“It’s a shame that 767 of them aren’t getting much attention,” Harrison said. “But we are proud of all 768 wrestlers.”
Harrison also said that nothing has happened during the tournament that “has the UIL reconsidering its rules, because quite frankly we don’t believe that any issues that are being reported on are really a product of UIL rules, despite the fact they’re being reported that way.”
He deflected attention from the UIL’s birth certificate rule and suggested the most controversial issue has to do with performance-enhancing drugs, such as testosterone. The use of performance-enhancing drugs as it relates to UIL competition, Harrison said, is governed by Texas state law.
The law allows for a student who is being administered steroids or testosterone by a physician to compete.
“That, simply put, means that our reading of the law means that UIL cannot declare a student ineligible for the use of performance-enhancing drugs if they are doing so under the exception vested in the law.”
Harrison said UIL staff is “more than willing” to work with lawmakers to “review that law and consider whether or not that law needs to be reviewed and considered for change.”
‘Makes absolutely no sense’
Medical and transgender experts said they believe Beggs should not be competing against girls.
“Wanting him to compete with girls is going against best practices and guidelines that are already established by organizations like the NCAA,” said Dr. Robert Garofalo, division head of adolescent medicine and director of the gender and sex development program at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Eric Vilain, professor of human genetics and pediatrics at UCLA, called the UIL’s birth-certificate rule “twisted logic” and said, “This case makes absolutely no sense to not allow this athlete to compete with boys.”
There was palpable resentment throughout the tournament, if not from rival wrestlers who mostly congratulated and hugged Beggs, then from their families and coaches, whose stern looks when asked to comment served as an ample substitute for words they chose not to speak publicly.
One notable exception came from a coach of a girl wrestler who competed in the 110-pound division. She said Beggs’ championship is not the product of a physical advantage over his competitors. But the coach also believes the UIL should allow Beggs to wrestle boys, but not because of his use of testosterone.
“If that’s what he wants to do, let him do that,” she said, noting she was not able to speak publicly because of her school district’s policy. “Any girl can go and lift weights and be as muscular as Mack is and be just as strong.”
Beggs also had a supporter in Arlington Bowie boys wrestler Adam Kilgore, who works independently with Trinity’s coach Clark.
“Mack’s good. There’s nothing like winning a state title and no matter what that shouldn’t be taken away from you,” Kilgore said. “My thing to Mack is, ignore that (expletive), ignore it, it’s not worth it.”
A music video shot on board the International Space Station became a web sensation on Monday, transforming a space traveler into an overnight music sensation with his zero-gravity rendition of David Bowie’s hit “Space Oddity.”
As the main Canadian to order the space station, a $100 million venture of 15 countries, Chris Hadfield had effectively earned himself a place in the history books.
In any case, as he arranged to profit home for Monday after over five months in circle, Hadfield discharged a strong “the internet” interpretation of Bowie’s tune, which was initially discharged in 1969 only in front of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The video, with its well known hold back “Ground Control to Major Tom,” had more than 1.5 million hits on YouTube early Monday evening and was being touted as the principal music video ever taped in space.
Finish with re-worked verses and amazing film that Hadfield and his group mates shot on board the orbital station, the video demonstrates the space traveler singing about the approaching end of his space mission while drifting in mid-air over the blue Earth.
“In spite of the fact that I’ve flown 100,000 miles, I’m feeling still and before too long I know it’s a great opportunity to go,” the space explorer murmurs.
Hadfield, NASA space explorer Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, really have piled on a huge number of miles (kilometers) as they hovered around 250 miles over the planet in the course of the last 5-1/2 months.
Hadfield’s singing and acoustic guitar playing is joined by shocking video of the space station flying around the planet, a guitar free-gliding and a ghostly shot of a spacesuit during the evening.
Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, surely understood for his thundering serves, is recuperating in doctor’s facility in Miami in the wake of being conceded with viral meningitis, his better half Alsi said.
In an announcement on the official ATP site (www.atpworldtour.com) she expelled reports that the 34-year-old had endured a stroke.
“Ivo did not have a stroke, as a few outlets have expressed; rather, he has viral meningitis,” she said.
“We request protection amid his recuperation procedure. We thank everybody for their support and well wishes.”
Karlovic, who has slipped outside the world’s main 100 from a profession high 14, brought on one of the greatest bombshells in tennis when he beat protecting champion Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon in 2003. He last played at the Sarasota Challenger not long ago.
A dark appointee police boss from Los Angeles was chosen on Tuesday to head up the San Francisco Police Department, months after the city’s last police boss was pushed out in the midst of dissents over police killings of African-Americans.
The U.S. Bureau of Justice keeps on auditing San Francisco’s police drive after lethal police shootings and two supremacist content informing embarrassments that started furious exhibitions and requires an office shake-up.
Charge Scott, the most astounding positioning dark officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, will supplant Toney Chaplin and is relied upon to begin late January. Chaplin, who is additionally dark, has been serving as between time police boss since Greg Suhr was removed from the top occupation.
“I respect San Francisco’s proactive way to deal with change in the wake of occurrences in the most recent two years, and I anticipate proceeding with this work,” Scott said in an announcement.
Scott has been with the Los Angeles police for a long time and was elevated to vice president in 2015, as per the chairman’s office. He heads the Los Angeles Police Department’s South Bureau, which utilizes 1,700 individuals and spreads a territory where approximately 640,000 individuals live.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee reluctantly forced Suhr to leave back in May, hours after an officer lethally shot a dark lady.
That shooting happened in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood, where police in December 2015 lethally shot a dark man who was a suspect in a cutting. Police said at the time that 26-year-old Mario Woods, whose family has since sued the city, was holding a blade and declined to drop it.
Spectator video, which circulated around the web in the wake of being distributed on the web, indicated Woods being gunned down in a hail of shots by a phalanx of officers.
In April, the city’s open guard discharged supremacist and homophobic instant messages sent by a San Francisco cop, which denoted the second such embarrassment in the same number of years.
A West Virginia charitable has restored a chief who ventured down a month ago in the wake of calling first woman Michelle Obama “a primate in heels,” inciting the state government to survey its agreements with the gathering, the representative’s office said on Tuesday.
Pamela Taylor surrendered her position a month ago as chief of social administrations assemble Clay County Development Corp, after her remark about the principal woman on Facebook circulated around the web on the web and started shock.
“The State of West Virginia energetically restricts any unfair and irritating suppositions, dialect or activities,” the workplace of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, said in an announcement.
On account of Taylor’s remarks, “we have been and keep on reviewing those agreements to decide any choices the state may have,” it said.
The Clay County Development Corp gives budgetary help and senior administrations to low-pay and elderly inhabitants.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail detailed that the charitable got about $1.5 million in government subsidizing and $363,000 in state financing in 2014. A representative for Clay County Development Corp couldn’t be gone after remark.
After the Nov. 8 decision, Taylor had lauded the change from Obama to previous model Melania Trump, the spouse of President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican.
“It will invigorate to have a tasteful, wonderful, stately first woman back in the White House. I’m burnt out on observing a chimp in heels,” she composed.
Beverly Whaling, the leader of modest Clay, West Virginia, surrendered subsequent to experiencing harsh criticism for answering to Taylor’s Facebook remark, “Recently filled my heart with joy Pam.”
Supporters of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump have appropriated the expression “wicker bin of deplorables” – utilized by Hillary Clinton amid the crusade to pillory some of his patrons – to arrange an initiation party called the “Deploraball.”
Be that as it may, while the expectation may be to ridicule the vanquished Democratic applicant, the arranged assembling has uncovered a profound split inside the positions of a development known as the alt-right: setting those grasping white patriotism or by and large prejudice against those looking for a more tenable stage for hard-right moderates.
The gathering will be held at the National Press Club in Washington the prior night Trump is confirmed on Jan. 20, when numerous official introduction occasions are occurring.
Coordinators say the Deploraball is a mixed drink party for Trump supporters from every ethnic foundation and no flammable or biased activities will be permitted. Coordinators call themselves “Trumpists” and say they have sold 1,000 tickets extending in cost from $99 to $2,500. Be that as it may, after an online fight between star visitors, Deploraball coordinators offered ticket holders discounts “in light of late occasions.”
One of the first coordinators of the ball, alt-right web-based social networking identity Tim Treadstone who is regularly alluded to by his online persona “Prepared Alaska,” has been disinvited subsequent to tweeting a few hostile to Semitic remarks, setting off furious trades among individuals from the alt-appropriate on Twitter.
Another highlighted visitor at the gathering, Mike Cernovich, has denounced Treadstone for seeming against Semitic and homophobic.
“The lines are drawn and the crack is pretty much total,” he said.
Cernovich, a modeler of viral Internet patterns advancing gossipy tidbits about Clinton’s assumed sick wellbeing that have been attributed with pushing Trump to triumph with the support of the alt-right, said he has rejected the alt-right’s plunge into white patriotism.
The alt-right development, which went to the fore amid the presidential battle, is a free gathering that rejects standard governmental issues and incorporates neo-Nazis, racial oppressors and against Semites. It had already been all the more generally grasped by libertarians and the far-right periphery: individuals more contradicted to the idea of political rightness than to racial or other differences.
Trump has been reprimanded for naming Steve Bannon, previous leader of the Breitbart News site that is firmly connected to the alt-ideal, as a senior White House counsel.
Days after the Nov. 8 race, the development was firmly reprimanded when some Trump supporters gave Nazi salutes to alt-right pioneer Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, amid a social event in Washington to observe Trump’s triumph.
The episode incited a few figures connected with the alt-appropriate to expect the expression “new ideal” to depict themselves.
In a meeting with New York Times columnists a month ago, Trump denounced the alt-right gathering sorted out by Spencer. “I censure them. I repudiate, and I denounce,” Trump said.
‘NO NAZI SALUTES’
After Treadstone posted hostile to Jewish tweets over the previous week, Cernovich let him know not to rehash the supposed “hailgate” embarrassment at Deploraball.
“No Nazi salutes … then again don’t have your name on the occasion,” Cernovich wrote in a progression of affront filled instant messages to Treadstone that were later posted on Twitter.
The contention seethed via web-based networking media between the two southern California-based men, who were once companions, egged on by their fans.
“You utilized the development and now you need to separation yourself from it,” Treadstone, wearing pastel-shaded cover clothing and a dyed light facial hair, said in one 45-minute video post.
The Republican president-elect, Trump, has not been formally welcomed to the occasion nor is he anticipated that would go to, yet “obviously we’d be excited on the off chance that he did,” said one coordinator, Jeff Giesea. Trump’s move group was not promptly accessible for input on the gathering.
In comments she rapidly said she lamented, Clinton told a pledge drive in September that Trump had offered voice to scornful talk through his conduct as a hopeful and that “half” of his supporters had a place in a “bushel of deplorables.” Trump supporters seized on the expression as encapsulating self important put-downs by beach front elites.
The Deploraball was at first anticipated the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, Virginia, yet coordinators said the setting was exchanged due to weight on the Clarendon from Clinton supporters. The Clarendon, a private occasions setting and dance club, denied that and said in an announcement it chose not to issue an agreement “because of the suspicious activities of the coordinators.”
Entertainers will incorporate vocalist Scott Isbell and traditional piano player Stephen Limbaugh, as indicated by the coordinators, who have additionally welcomed rapper Kanye West yet have not heard back. Treadstone, a previous rapper and orchestrator of expert Trump streak crowds, had additionally been planned to perform.
The chief of a West Virginia charitable organization who called first woman Michelle Obama “a gorilla in heels” in a Facebook post has been let go and the establishment put under outside administration, state authorities said on Tuesday.
Pamela Taylor, executive of the Clay County Development Corp (CCDC), which gives administrations to poor and elderly inhabitants, drew worldwide judgment after her remark a month ago about Obama became famous online.
She surrendered in November however was reestablished a month ago, inciting West Virginia to audit its agreements with the not-for-profit.
Fair Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office said the state had secured an understanding under which the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging will deal with the CCDC for six months.
“Taking after the state’s demand for particular affirmations that the CCDC is taking after against segregation strategies, we have been guaranteed that Pamela Taylor has been expelled from her position as CCDC chief,” Tomblin’s office said in an announcement.
Taylor couldn’t be gone after remark.
The not-for-profit in Clay, West Virginia, a residential community around 20 miles (32 km) upper east of Charleston, the state capital, gets state and government subsidizing.
After the Nov. 8 decision, Taylor went on Facebook to applaud the change from Obama to previous model Melania Trump, the spouse of President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican.
“It will invigorate to have a tasteful, wonderful, honorable first woman back in the White House. I’m worn out on observing a primate in heels,” she composed.
Svetlana Kuznetsova opened the resistance of her Sydney International title with an agreeable 6-1 6-4 triumph over Irina-Camelia Begu on Sunday as the Australian Open warm-up occasion endured a couple of enormous name withdrawals.
The Russian fifth seed began emphatically by winning 10 of the initial 11 diversions and after her Romanian rival aroused in the second set to tie it up at 4-4, Kuznetsova softened again up the ninth amusement and served out the triumph in 77 minutes.
“I began the year very great with the inclination,” the 31-year-old twofold thousand pummel champ told journalists.
“At times the outcomes don’t run together with whatever you feel. Be that as it may, I feel useful for the begin of the year, and for me it’s an extremely pleasant feeling.
“I never considered shielding my title or something to that effect. It’s simply one more competition – the title I have at home and nobody will remove it from me. This is one more year and another chance to play.”
Kuznetsova will next face the victor of the match between neighborhood most loved Sam Stosur and kindred Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Somewhere else, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, a previous Wimbledon finalist, likewise won her opening match with a 7-6(1) 6-2 first round win over China’s Zhang Shuai.
In any case, fourth seed Karolina Pliskova, who will move to world number five after her Brisbane title win on Saturday, won’t have the capacity to go for consecutive triumphs after she hauled out of the occasion with a left internal thigh damage.
The Czech was joined on the sidelines by Ukraine’s reality number 14 Elina Svitolina, who pulled back refering to a viral ailment.
“I’ve had steady cerebral pains throughout the previous two days and shockingly in today’s hot climate it deteriorated when I was warming up and my body wasn’t prepared to contend,” Svitolina, who was seeded seventh, said.
With the Australian Open tennis beginning in seven days’ chance in Melbourne, Frenchwoman Alize Cornet likewise ruled against gambling a sore back and hauled out of the Hobart International, which she won a year ago.
Dressage riders, regularly rejected as snobby remainders of the past for their purported horse moving, don’t frequently get to be Internet sensations.
Spain’s Severo Jurado Lopez, in any case, won over Brazilian observers, quickly ruled Twitter and got yell outs on billboard.com and Gawker after he played out a Latin shake implanted routine to Santana’s Smooth, highlighting Rob Thomas.
“Give him the gold, make it genuine or else forget about it,” proclaimed People Magazine.
“I never needed a steed more than when I discovered you can show it to move to Smooth,” said one Twitter client.
The generally Brazilian group of onlookers present for the last free-form ride, the equine adaptation of a tumbling floor schedule, were on their feet cheering – and booed when judges put Lopez and steed Lorenzo in fifth place on Monday.
“I realized that Brazil, a place that comprehends music so well, may like it,” Lopez told Reuters. “I am cheerful for both, the adulation and the boos.”
Sandwiched between riders that picked for the most part established music, Lopez additionally finished his ride on a non-customary note by jogging down the focal point of the field to Bon Jovi’s “It’s my life.”
“I relate to Bon Jovi’s tune and Santana has my melodic style of the south, ready to achieve an exceptionally universal group,” Lopez said of his melodic choice.
Lopez, who is situated in Denmark, protected the arrangement of Olympic dressage rivalry, which requires all riders to play out a similar two specialized tests with outright accuracy.