Another day, another collegiate record smashed by a superior athlete…of a different biological sex.
Lia Thomas is being hailed in some circles after shattering women’s swimming records this season, but critics point out why: She was born a man.
The Washington Times notes:
The University of Pennsylvania swimmer continued her dominance Saturday at the 2021 Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio, with a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, setting a pool, program and meet record with a time of 1:41.93.
“She won the race by nearly seven seconds and her time was the fastest in the country,” the U/Penn sports information department noted in a press release.
“That time is currently the best in the country in the event,” the university added. “Her mark was also a new program record.”
But female sports advocates are not cheering this ‘accomplishment’ at all; they argue that male-to-female transgender athletes are unfairly physically advantaged over normal female competitors.
“Well of course women’s records are being smashed!” tweeted Linda Blade, author of “Unsporting: How Trans Activism and Science Denial are Destroying Sport.” “Lia competed as male for first three years in #NCAA. This is not right!”
Clay Travis, founder of the right-leaning sports and politics site Outkick (formerly Outkick The Coverage), noted the new ‘record’ is “absurd, it’s ridiculous, it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”
“Women should not be losing to biological men, especially biological men who were good enough to be competing on college swim teams before they decided to identify as women,” Travis said in a video post. “I can’t believe I have to say that, but it makes no sense at all.”
“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding,” Thomas told the Penn student newspaper in June.
The NCAA’s policy on the matter states: “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.
“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,” the policy notes further.
Other critics weighed in as well.
“Even if Thomas has taken testosterone-suppression treatment for a year prior, his race times still show a clear physiological advantage,” said Nicole Russell in the Daily Signal.
And Katherine Deves, the co-founder of Save Women’s Sports Australasia, noted on Twitter: “Man breaks women’s college swimming records. Shocks no one.”
Man breaks women’s college swimming records
Shocks no one@SWS_australasia https://t.co/S66qDsMvQS
— Katherine Deves (@katherine_deves) December 1, 2021
“He’s the greatest female swimmer of all time. Forget Katie Ledecky. All her hard work and gold medals aren’t nearly as impressive as the dominance displayed by this female swimmer from Penn,” another user quipped.
He’s the greatest female swimmer of all time. Forget Katie Ledecky. All her hard work and gold medals aren’t nearly as impressive as the dominance displayed by this female swimmer from Penn.
— Joe (@JoeHeisman) December 4, 2021
Thomas, who co-chairs a group at the university called Penn Non-Cis, told Penn Today that swimming is “a huge part of my life and who I am.”
“I’ve been a swimmer since I was five years old,” said Thomas. “The process of coming out as being trans and continuing to swim was a lot of uncertainty and unknown around an area that’s usually really solid. Realizing I was trans threw that into question. Was I going to keep swimming? What did that look like?”