Lia Thomas Wins 500 Freestyle National Championship Over Biological Females

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In one of the least climactic moments in women’s sports history, Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won the 500 freestyle national championship over a field of biological females in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thomas’ time of 4:33.24 was a season-best for Thomas and ended up as the top 500 freestyle time in college swimming. Biological female Virginia freshman swimmer Emma Weyant (4:34.99) was the unlucky competitor who finished runner-up to Thomas in the finals.

3rd place went to Erica Sullivan, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Games in the 1500-meter freestyle; Brooke Forde, who won a silver at the Tokyo Games in a 4X200 freestyle relay race, finished fourth to Thomas.

500 freestyle women's results

Thomas’ victory comes after nearly three months of controversy, including teammates speaking out to OutKick about what this means for their sport.

“When I have kids, I kinda hope they’re all boys because if I have any girls that want to play sports in college, good luck. [Their opponents] are all going to be biological men saying that they’re women,” Thomas’ teammate told OutKick in December. “Right now we have one, but what if we had three on the team? There’d be three less girls competing.”

Thomas will be back in the pool Friday for the 200 freestyle race. Olympic hero Missy Franklin’s 2015 NCAA record of 1:39.10 is in serious jeopardy as Thomas went 1:41.93 in December.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. As sick and ridiculous and unfair as this is its only swimming. What happens when 6’8” 240lb power forward decides he wants play woman’s ncaa basketball? Or when a 6’3” 230lb clean up hitter gets in a slump and says you know what I think a softball would be much easier to hit I’m a girl now?

  2. He only won by a second over a female swimmer? That should be the story. With all these advantages this guy should win every race by a minute and be shattering every record in women’s swimming. Let’s go dude. That’s all you’ve got?

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