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2024 Election

Swimming Competition Permits Man, 50, to Compete Against 13-Year-Old Girls, Then Tries to Deny It

A regional swimming competition in Canada was caught allowing a 50-year-old man who claims to be transgender to race against 13- and 14-year-old girls, then tried to deny it happened after a reporter quizzed them over it.

The incident occurred on Oct. 20 at Toronto’s Markham Pan Am Centre during the Richmond Hill Aquatic Centre’s Fall Classic swim meet, in which a swimmer going by the name of “Melody Wiseheart” swam against nine girls who were all between 13 and 14 years old.

Melody’s age was listed as “50” on the meet program, as discovered by news outlet Rebel News.

Rebel News noted that the 50-year-old “Melody Wiseheart” was actually a male-born transgender swimmer named Nicholas J. Cepeda,  a member of the Orangeville Otters Swim Club.

The outlet sent reporter David Menzies to the Markham Pan Am Centre to ask why they allowed Cepeda to race against teenagers, but the answers were “hard in coming,” they noted.

Melody Wiseheart, Ph.D.
(formerly Nicholas J. Cepeda)
York University
Department of Psychology

At first, the organizers to whom Menzies spoke tried to deny that the transgender Cepeda participated at all. Then they waved Menzies off, saying that they had no desire to get into a debate about transgender athletes.

The entire swim meet, Menzies pointed out, was categorized by gender and age, meaning a 13-year-old female would not race against a 17-year-old male.

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Organizers also told Rebel News that no representatives of the region’s swimming governing bodies, Swim Ontario and Swim Canada, would comment on the issue “because they were ‘too busy.’”

However, the organizers backtracked from their denial of Cepda’s participation when Menzies showed them a printed copy of the swim meet’s roster. Ultimately, they admitted that Cepeda did compete in the category against 13- and 14-year-old girls.

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Save Women’s Sport activist and former NCAA swimming champion Riley Gaines was appalled by the news.


After Rebel News broke the story, The Blaze also inquired about Cepeda’s participation and was told that swimmers are allowed to “swim as their declared gender.”

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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