Attendees in the crowd at the National Collegiate Athletic Association swimming championship were visibly upset, saying this was not a fair competition, after transgender athlete Lia Thomas stormed the field to claim the national 500 yard freestyle title.
Lia Thomas, widely considered the world’s most controversial athlete, has become the first transgender athlete to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association swimming championship – and her controversial victory attracting a hugely negative reception from the crowd.
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The UPenn swimmer, 22, who was born male, won the 500 yard freestyle in Atlanta in a time of 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds on Thursday evening.
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Afterwards, the crowd were notably more enthusiastic when cheering for the woman who’d come second place – Emma Weyant, of the University of Virginia. She was born female and swam 4:34.99.
While Thomas was given some cheers, boos could also be heard ringing out throughout the spectator stands, as she continues to face allegations that going through male puberty has given her an unfair advantage over her rivals.
‘I try to ignore it as much as I can, I try to focus on my swimming what I need to do to get ready for my races and I just try to block out everything else,’ said Thomas after the race, when asked by ESPN about the response.
It means the world to be here, to be with two of my best friend and teammates and be able to compete.’
Judging by the reception from the crowd, most people in attendance believe Lia should be competing in the men’s competition.
DailyMail report: Thomas, whose continued wins and record-breaking performances have made her the world’s most controversial athlete, also roundly defeated fellow swimmers at last month’s Ivy League championships.
The Texan, who swam for three years on the university’s men’s team before transitioning in 2019, is now the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA championship – a distinction one of Thomas’ teammates said would be dubious if achieved.
Thomas has undergone the required hormone treatment to meet the current rules for transgender athletes, but critics say her stunning performances prove that she still retains a considerable and unfair advantage.
‘It’s not necessarily an achievement in my mind,’ said one of Thomas’ teammates on UPenn’s Women’s Swim Team.
The teammate, who refused to give her name for fear of repercussions, told Fox News Digital that Thomas’s participation in D1-sanctioned women’s events has ‘completely ruined the integrity of the sport.’
She said Thomas’ achievements while on the women’s team should be taken with a grain of salt, due to the biological advantages of being born a man.
‘It’s its own distinct category because no woman is going to be as fast as a man, and here, is just completely – we’re just throwing away the definition of a record to fit into someone else’s agenda of what it should mean to them,‘ she said.
‘In reality, it makes no scientific sense to do so.‘
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