Transgender swimmer sparks outrage by shattering women’s records

Lia Thomas, a 22-year old transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, has been shattering women’s records at the school.

Before her transition, she competed for three years at Penn as a man, named Will Thomas.

At a meet including Princeton and Cornell on Nov. 20, Thomas had a 1:43:47 time in the 200-meter freestyle and 4:35:06 in the 500-meter freestyle. These times were records for Penn and would have placed Thomas second and third, respectively, in the NCAA Women’s Championships, according to the website OutKick.

It is unknown when Thomas transitioned from male to female, but the swimmer competed as a man as recently as November 2019. NCAA rules mandate at least one year of testosterone suppression treatment to be eligible to compete as a woman.

Thomas, co-chair of the UPenn club Non-Cis, spoke to Penn Today this past June.

“(Swimming) is a huge part of my life and who I am. I’ve been a swimmer since I was five years old,” Thomas said. “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?

“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding.”

 

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