In the wake of the International Olympic Committee's decision to allow transsexuals to compete as women, Carl Lewis announced that he had always been a girl at heart. Standing before a store display of Kotex Sanitary Napkins Lewis said he had always felt trapped in his male body.
"When the boys played outside with their GI Joes and the girls played inside with their Barbies, I always felt more comfortable staying indoors, combing Barbie's hair, or just doing my nails."
Always fastidious, Lewis never-the-less surprised the assembled media with his announcement. "I never told anyone because I . . . well, because I was afraid of the ridicule sure to follow. Perhaps now, by working toward the Olympics, I will be able to escape some of that."
No longer young, Lewis said he felt age was a matter of how you feel, and "I feel fine. I feel as good as I did at twenty-five. Besides, I'll be competing against girls. I ought to be able to beat them hopping a hundred meters."
Transsexual tennis player, Rene Richards, a celebrity better known in the 1970s for having once been a man than for her tennis ability, has condemned the decision saying that the male body -even given the hormones males take - still provides an unfair advantage in many sports.
Lewis acknowledged this and said, "I suppose those women had better train."
Required to dress as a woman for a year before the surgery can take place Lewis said he would be going to the mall to buy some dresses after the press conference, but that he hoped his celebrity status would allow him to move the surgery up as much as possible. "I know what I'm doing here. I've always wanted to be a female Olympic champion."
He smiled a huge smile, "say hello To Carla Lewis, queen of track and field."