University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, aka Will Thomas, is “thrilled” to be competing on the women’s team.
The teammates aren’t.
In one race, the nearest female competitor was 38 seconds behind. Lia is ruining women’s college swimming and will be able to compete in the NCAA.
Compete is the wrong word. There’s no competition. Lia is a man.
Two female Penn swimmers told sports website OutKick in anonymous interviews that team members are frustrated and upset as they watch Thomas smash records in her first season on the women’s team after three years as a men’s freestyle standout.
“They feel so discouraged because no matter how much work they put in it, they’re going to lose,” one swimmer said in the Friday report.
The anonymous swimmer said having Thomas on the women’s team had cast “such a cloud over everything,” a view sharply at odds with the 22-year-old transgender athlete’s upbeat take on the season in his/her first interview since taking the women’s collegiate circuit by storm.
“I’m feeling confident and good in my swimming and all my personal relationships,” Thomas said in a Dec. 8 SwimSwam podcast. “Transitioning has allowed me to be more confident in all of those aspects in my life where I was struggling a lot before I came out.”
Thomas said the 2021-22 season had been “incredibly rewarding,” citing strong support from her teammates and Penn swimming and diving coach Mike Schnur.
“The team has been unbelievably supportive since the beginning, teammates and coaches as well,” Thomas said. “Mike has been one of my biggest supporters and allies in this process since day one, and I’m very grateful to have that support from him and everybody on the team. I feel very supported, treated like any other member of the women’s team.”
They can’t say anything or they will be canceled.
Thomas took off during the novel coronavirus pandemic, then jumped to the women’s team this year following hormone-replace therapy and testosterone suppression.
Thomas now holds Penn’s all-time women’s records in the 200 and 500 freestyle. At the Zippy Invitational held Dec. 6-8 at the University of Akron, Thomas set a program, meet and pool record in the 1,650 freestyle, defeating teammate and second-place finisher Anna Kalandadze by a whopping 38 seconds.
Even so, one of Thomas’s anonymous teammates told OutKick that there was little applause when Thomas touched first.
“When the whole team is together, we have to be like, ‘Oh my gosh, go Lia, that’s great, you’re amazing.’ It’s very fake,” the female swimmer said in the first interview.
While Thomas has won praise from LGBTQ advocates as a transgender pioneer, outrage among critics has escalated as her record-smashing season gains attention.
That is disgraceful. The LGBTQs know Lia is ruining women’s sports and they don’t care. Shame on them.
The women have no chance at winning and it’s demoralizing.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Barbara Gleim has co-sponsored House Bill 972, which would ban transgender students from competing in women’s sports.