A trans swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania competing as a woman after three years on the mens’ team set several records in an event in Ohio over the weekend, raising concerns about the fairness of allowing the athlete to compete against women.
The event, the Zippy Invitational, is held annually at the University of Arkon.
Lia Thomas, 22, was victorious in the 500-yard freestyle, setting a new record in the finals, then went on to set a countrywide record for the 200-yard freestyle, and set a new pool record for the 1650-yard freestyle, The New York Post reported.
Thomas previously completed two swim seasons on the men’s team.
The Christian Post notes that “In the 2018-2019 season, Thomas placed second in the Ivy League Championships in three freestyle events — the 500-yard freestyle, the 1,000-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle. In the 2019-2020 season, Thomas won a 500-yard freestyle event against Villanova.”
According to NCAA rules, athletes must undergo at least one year of testosterone suppression treatment in order to be able to compete in women’s athletics.
“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding,” Thomas previously told Penn Today.
The swimmer’s performance in Akron attracted attention by some who considered it to be unfair for the female athletes.
“If you think it is in the interest of athletic competition for a male athlete to decide to become a woman and then dominate female athletes with the advantages of the height, the strength, the weight of a male athlete, this represents the potential destruction of female athletics,” Clay Travis, founder of OutKick, wrote ahead of the event. “It’s absurd, it’s ridiculous. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”
He also stated that “women should not be losing to biological men, especially not biological men who were good enough to be competing on college swim teams before they decided to identify as women.”
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