I don’t watch a lot of TV and I don’t watch reality shows on which the stars “are famous for being famous”. So I can proudly say I have never watched the Kardashians. I do admit I have heard about the show, often, but I have never once been tempted to watch it Call me uninformed, but I didn’t even know that Bruce Jenner had married into that family. Hence, my memories of Bruce Jenner were of his exploits in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.
I knew that Bruce Jenner won a gold metal in the decathlon in those games and that in doing so he became an American hero who was featured on the Wheaties® box. However, that was a long time ago I had to do some research on line to dig up the details.
Early on Soviet world record holder and 1972 Olympic champion Nikolai Avilov had been considered the odds on favorite to win the decathlon in the 1976 games, but Jenner broke his world record twice not long before the games began. After the first day and five events into the ten event Olympic decathlon contest, Bruce was in third place, 35 points behind the leader, but the last five events (the second day of the competition) were traditionally Bruce’s best. On day 2 Jenner blew the competition away. Decathletes are awarded points for how they perform in each of the ten events against predetermined scales. Jenner’s 8,617 was an Olympic record besting Guido Kratchner of West Germany by 203 points and Avilow by 248 points and breaking the World Record of 8,538 points.
When Jenner crossed the finish line of last event, the 1500 meter race, assuring himself of victory, someone handed him a small American and Bruce held it aloft has the walked and then trotted around the track in a victory lap. A burst of patriotic fervor swept across the US which was already in the midst of celebrating the country’s bicentennial. When Bruce Jenner returned to the US following the Montreal games with the title of “Worlds Best Athlete”, he was lauded as a true American hero. In addition to the Wheatears box, the photogenic Jenner appeared on the cover of many American magazines including Sport Illustrated and Play Girl. Yep, he was many a young woman’s heart throb.
Now I am finding it dificult to believe that the entire time he was training for the Olympics and winning the Olympic decathlon, this magnificent male athlete felt like he was a woman inside. It really blows my mind.
Of course to have someone of this fame and notoriety admit to the world that he is transgender, and begin the process of being changed into a woman, is an amazing thing for the transgender community. It caused me to read up on the medical research looking into the cause of transgender identities. Researchers have determined the size of a region of the brain known as the BSTc (known to produce sex and anxiety responses) may hold the key. In male to female transsexuals, this region of the brain is the same size as those of normal females while the BSTc of female to mail transsexuals is the same larger size of normal males. Other research found similar proportions in other brain regions. And yes, a MRI of Jenner’s brain verifies that he has these unusual brain attributes.
So, I guess that Bru…..er….. Caitlyn Jenner really is a woman inside and now based on the photo’s I’ve seen she is well on the way to being a woman on the outside as well. But, sorry, it still blows my mind. However, if it helps the rest of us to understand the transgender community and what people in that situation go through, “coming out” may yet be the most important thing Caitlyn Jenner ever does.