NCAA’s policies allowed for someone to compete with hormone levels that are six to seven times bigger than those of an average woman. This is on top of all other biological differences. So naturally it resulted in a transgendered athlete winning a Division I title.
That athlete is Lia Thomas, 22. There’s been substantial backlash ever since Thomas won the 500m freestyle event earlier this week. But considering that Swimming is an individual sport the ramifications of what transpired reverberate through the entire division. One twitter user compiled a series of effects that can be attributed to Thomas’ ill gotten gains.
One person who was particularly adversely affected is Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy. Gyorgy was cheated out of being in the finals thanks to the rule that allowed for Thomas to participate.
Gyorgy opened up against Thomas in spite of the stigma that brings saying:
“It doesn’t promote our sport in a good way and I think it is disrespectful against the biologically female swimmers who are competing in the NCAA,”
“I’d like to point out that I respect and fully stand with Lia Thomas; I am convinced that she is no different than me or any other D1 swimmer who has woken up at 5 a.m. her entire life for morning practice,” wrote Gyorgy.
“On the other hand, I would like to critique the NCAA rules that allow her to compete against us, who are biologically women.”
“I know you could say I had the opportunity to swim faster and make the top 16, but this situation makes it a bit different and I can’t help but be angry or sad. It hurts me, my team and other women in the pool,” wrote Gyorgy.
“One spot was taken away from the girl who got 9th in the 500 free and didn’t make it back to the A final preventing her from being an All-American. Every event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.”
“It is the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting their athletes. I ask the NCAA takes time to think about all the other biological women in swimming, try to think how they would feel if they would be in our shoes. Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future in swimming,” Gyorgy concluded.
Gyorgy’s friend was crushed for her and had previously given an interview sticking by her friend.