swimming gold! Is that fair? – Trans woman wins against women

Their victories are currently the most controversial in US sport. And that has nothing to do with doping…

In men’s competitions, freestyle swimmer Lia Catherine Thomas (22) was “talented”. Ever since the Texan jumped into the pool at women’s races, she’s been a favorite.

She became the first trans woman to win a US college title. Her success in the 500 yard freestyle (457.2 meters) surprised her: “I was just happy to be here and to swim races as best I could.”

While she wins, a fight about fairness and inclusion rages around her!

Born with male gender characteristics, Thomas started swimming at the age of five. As a man, she started her swimming career at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017.

In 2019 she decided on hormone therapy and initially stayed in the men’s team. In 2021 she switched to women.

Since then she has caused controversy: Is it unfair if she swims with women as a trans woman?

When asked about Lia Thomas, tennis icon Martina Navratilova (65) told Newsnation: “It’s not about her personally. The point is that as a man she finished 200th, 300th, 400th. Now she will be first. The rules need to be changed. This is not a fair fight.”

Several swimmers at Thomas’s university wrote a letter criticizing: “Lia has every right to live her life authentically. Biologically, Lia has an unfair advantage over the competition in the women’s category, as evidenced by her rankings, which have risen from 462nd for men to 1st for women.”

At the college championships in Atlanta there were isolated banners (“Save Women’s Sports”).

Thomas: “I try to ignore it as much as possible. I’m trying to focus on my swimming.”

Her competitors Emma Wyant and Erica Sullivan congratulated Thomas in the pool. All swimmers applauded at the award ceremony – except for one.

Lia Catherine Thomas had a lead of almost two seconds over 500 yards (457.2 meters)Photo: USA TODAY Sports

However, there is also a photo showing winner Thomas alone as the second, third and fourth place finishers line up offside. Intentionally?

What is the IOC’s position? In January, it presented a new set of rules for trans people in sport and said goodbye to testosterone limits (the hormone value decides whether a man or woman is male or female). The Olympic Committee is all about inclusion.

Thomas in Sports Illustrated: “I just want to show trans kids and younger trans athletes that they are not alone. They don’t have to choose between who they are and the sport they love…”

The question remains: How fair is it for the other participants to let a male-born person compete with women?


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