Make It Count

My Fight to Become the First Transgender Olympic Runner


By CeCé Telfer

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$39.00 CAD


By turns harrowing and hopeful, MAKE IT COUNT is the inspiring story of the first openly transgender woman to win a NCAA title, following her traditional upbringing in Jamaica, her fight to become a US citizen, and her efforts to achieve her Olympic dreams.

CeCé Telfer is a warrior. The first openly transgender woman to win an NCAA championship, she has contended with transphobia on and off the track since childhood. Now, she stands at the crossroads of a national and international conversation about equity in sports, forced to advocate for her personhood and rights at every turn. After spending years training for the 2024 Olympics, Telfer has been sidelined and silenced more times than she can count. But she’s never been good at taking no for an answer.

MAKE IT COUNT is Telfer’s raw and inspiring story. From coming of age in Jamaica, where she grew up hearing a constant barrage of slurs, to beginning her new life in Toronto and then New Hampshire, where she realized what running could offer her, to living in the backseat of her car while searching for a coach, to Mexico, where she trained for the US Trials, this book follows the arc of Telfer’s Olympic dream.

This is the story of running on what feels like the edge of a knife, of what it means to compete when you’re not just an athlete but treated like a walking controversy. But it’s also the story of resilience and athleticism, of a runner who found a clarity in her sport that otherwise eluded her—a sense of being simply alive on this earth, a human moving through space. Finally, herself.

  • "Telfer offers a moving, deeply human account of her troubled childhood in Jamaica, moving to the U.S., her struggles with houselessness, and the limits of the sport she credits with saving her life as a young, isolated trans girl. . . Make It Count is an urgent call to recenter the needs and dignities of trans people."
    The Cut
  • “As a mentor and friend to CeCé Telfer, witnessing her journey chronicled in her memoir is both humbling and awe-inspiring. Through her groundbreaking achievements and unwavering courage, CeCé is not just changing the world of sports; she's rewriting the narrative for all athletes, proving that authenticity and determination know no bounds.”
    Chris Mosier, Team USA Athlete & Activist
  • “Though I've known CeCé since 2020—as a fan, competitor, and friend—reading MAKE IT COUNT allowed me to understand her story in a way that I never have before. She shares her triumphs, her struggles with the family she was born into, and how hard she worked to find a new family. It turns out that CeCé is like so many of us—she's a woman fighting for her happiness, for her place. I'm honored to know her, to know her story, and support her in her fight.”
    Anna Cockrell, Olympic Sprinter and Hurdler
  • Make It Count is a powerful statement of Telfer's unwavering spirit and unyielding dedication and serves as a beacon of inspiration for women, athletes, and humans alike. Her indomitable will to succeed against all odds illuminates the path for others who dare to dream beyond societal confines. Through her words, Telfer reminds us that greatness knows no boundaries and that every obstacle can be transformed into a hurdle to leap past and propel us forward.” 
    R.K. Russell, NFL Player, Trailblazer, Advocate, and Author of The Yards Between Us
  • "In this intimate glimpse into her life and career, the author candidly shares her story of perseverance to overcome the hateful backlash from her path toward the Olympics, where eligibility rules prevented her from competing in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. . . An inspirational portrait of trailblazing sports excellence."
    Kirkus Reviews
  • “[A] stirring debut memoir. . . this tale of persisting in the face of adversity uplifts.”
    Publishers Weekly

On Sale
Jun 18, 2024
Page Count
304 pages

Featured Post

Excerpt from MAKE IT COUNT


Image of CeCe Telfer, author of MAKE IT COUNT

CeCé Telfer

About the Author

CeCé Telfer is a Jamaican-American athlete who, in June 2019, became the first openly transgender woman to win a NCAA title. Telfer became a NCAA National Champion in the 400- meter hurdles event which put her on the trajectory of becoming a U.S. Olympic hopeful for the Tokyo Olympics 2021. 

In June 2021, Telfer qualified for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials | Track & Field in the 100M & 400-meter hurdles. Telfer has appeared on multiple national media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN International, ESPN, Women’s Health, People Magazine, The Advocate, and more, capturing global attention for her incredible story.

Learn more about this author