A University of Pennsylvania “women’s” swimmer named Lia Thomas, who used to go by Will as a member of the men’s swimming team, is smashing records and has many wondering if Olympic superstar Katie Ledecky will be soon losing races to a transgender competitor.
At a November 20 tri-meet with Cornell and Princeton, Lia Thomas “blasted the No. 1 200 free time and the second-fastest 500 free time in the nation, breaking Penn program records in both events. She swept the 100-200-500 free individual events and contributed to the first-place 400 free relay,” according to SwimSwam.com, a website dedicated to collegiate swimming.
Will Thomas, a native of Austin, Texas, competed for the Penn men’s swimming team for three seasons before taking off the pandemic year. During the 2018-19 season, Will was second-team All-Ivy League in the 500 freestyle, 1,000 free and 1,650 free. In 2019-20, Thomas competed in four of Penn’s eight regular-season events. According to the Penn swimming archives, Will Thomas last competed for the men’s team on November 16, 2019.
“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding,” Thomas told the campus student newspaper in June.
Based on the times Thomas has put up so far this fall, Lia’s definitely not lying.
SwimSwam reports that Thomas’ 200 freestyle time of 1:43:47 would have won her a silver medal at the 2021 NCAA Women’s Championships. Her 4:35:06 in the 500 freestyle would’ve been good for bronze at the 2021 Championships.
So how are the biological women supposed to beat Thomas? Is this fair based on the NCAA rules? The NCAA has said, based on its policy, that biological women just need to suck it up and deal with it.
“A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment,” the NCAA’s policy states.
“A trans male who has received a medical exemption for treatment with testosterone is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.”
One year of testosterone suppression treatment and you can get right out there with the women and kick their asses. That’s the rule.
Is it fair? We’ll need to hear from the biological women who are losing pool time and races to Will/Lia Thomas, if they’re even allowed to give an honest answer.
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