'Goal Is to Continue Living off Table Tennis', says Luca Kumahara, First Trans Athlete in the Sport

Olympic athlete made his debut in the men's category in December

São Paulo

A precocious talent in table tennis, 28-year-old Luca Kumahara from São Paulo, is being forced to rethink his trajectory in the sport. With three Olympics and medals in Pan American Games in his resume, Kumahara is also the first trans man in the sport.

São Paulo, SP, Brasil, 02-02-2024: Luca Kumahara (foto Gabriel Cabral/Folhapress)

Immersed in the sports world from an early age, he says that although he identified as male from childhood, he didn't think about transitioning for a long time. Until, in mid-2019, he came into contact with YouTube videos about hormonal treatment with testosterone and decided that was what he wanted for himself. "For trans men, both in society and in sports, it's much easier than for trans women, unfortunately," Kumahara told Folha.

His debut in the men's category took place at the end of last year. Kumahara says the main difference he felt was in the serve, which he says is more 'stolen' among men. And although emotionally difficult, it served for the table tennis player to see more clearly the path he needs to follow to continue living off the sport. "I'm not just going to focus on one goal, without looking at whether my life is moving forward."

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