Dr. Louis Elsas 1996 Olympic Games gender verification records
Scope and Contents
This collection contains records from Dr. Louis J. Elsas testing of female athletes in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, that the International Olympic Commitee required to verify gender. The bulk of material is testing and survey results, some of which include comments by the tested athletes. The purpose of these tests was to exclude cisgender males from female-only competition while preserving the dignity and careers of intersex and transgender female athletes. Other papers include praise and criticism for the project, as well as academic reports on the subject. Of particular note is correspondence between Dr. Elsas and his colleagues on the development of these protocols. Additional ephemera include Olympic memorabilia such as schedules, posters, and newsletters.
- 1988-2002, undated
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.
Biographical / Historical
Dr. Louis "Skip" J. Elsas (1937-2012) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Herbert (1910-1995) and Edith Elsas (1914-2010). He was a physician, researcher, and professor of biochemistry and genetics. In 1958 he graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor in Science in Biochemistry, and in 1962 he received his Doctorate of Medicine, with honors, from the University of Virgina. He studied international medicine at Yale University, after which he became a faculty member for two years. In 1970 Dr. Elsas returned to Atlanta to establish the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University, where he published more than 190 articles on the topic. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) hired him to oversee gender verification for female athletes at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Dr. Elsas developed a multi-step DNA testing that determined an athlete's sex, thereby excluding cisgender male athletes masquerading as women from female-exclusive competitions, while reducing the chances of excluding intersex athletes from these events. The IOC stopped requiring gender testing in 1999. Dr. Elsas retired from Emory in 2005 andd in medical genetics at the University of Miami until his death.
1.668 linear ft. (four document cases, one oversize folder, and one 3 1/2" floppy disk)
This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was processed in 2021.
- Athletes -- Medical examinations
- Athletics -- Georgia -- Atlanta
- Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games
- International Olympic Committee
- Intersex athletes
- Medical records -- Georgia -- Atlanta
- Olympic Games. (26th : 1996 : Atlanta, Ga.)
- Professional sports
- Sports for women -- Georgia -- Atlanta
- Sports gynecology
- Women athletes -- Georgia -- Atlanta
- Women's rights
- Dr. Louis Elsas 1996 Olympic Games gender verification records
- Jude Baldridge
- July 2021
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description