One spectator spoke out as transgender college swimmer Lia Thomas prepared to crush his female competitors during an NCAA finals qualifier event on Thursday.
One man exclaimed “cheater” seconds before a 500Y race began, in a dig at the University of Pennsylvania swimmer.
At the beginning of Lia Thomas competing in the NCAA women’s 500Y Freestyle, a member of the audience screams “CHEATER”.
Thomas then goes on to take the lead the entire competition.
(This is the first 2 mins of the 4 min competition) pic.twitter.com/YpIwOWuu79
— Sav (@RapidFire_Pod) March 17, 2022
Thomas smoked the second-place swimmer by three seconds, a margin considered a blowout victory in competitive swimming.
— Jim Butler (@JimBUWDawg) March 17, 2022
In a development suggesting sympathy with Thomas’s critic, the audience of parents and swimming fans didn’t cheer for Thomas when he finished. Instead, the audience cheered for the second and third-place finishers.
— Emily Kreps (@ekreps) March 17, 2022
A second spectator directly accused Thomas of cheating as she left the room of the meet.
— Linda Blade (@coachblade) March 17, 2022
Thomas was set to compete in NCAA finals Thursday night, potentially becoming the fastest ‘female’ college swimmer in the country to compete in the 500Y event.
Before his gender ‘transition,’ Will Thomas didn’t stand out or compete at high levels in men’s college swimming.
Now ranked #1 in women’s swimming, Thomas clocked in at a distant #462 as a male swimmer.
Born ‘Will Thomas’ ranked #462 in men’s swimming. Changes his name to ‘Lea Thomas’ and is ranked as #1 in women’s swimming.
How is this ok? pic.twitter.com/7cf1JJsKRd
— Luana (@LuanaGoriss) February 19, 2022
Thomas’s rise to the top of female collegiate swimming has led some to question the future of women’s sports entirely, with a new wave of biologically male transgender athletes increasingly dominating.
Sixteen of Thomas’s own teammates have spoken out anonymously against his inclusion in women’s sporting competitions.
Male athletes have fundamental advantages over women, such as increased muscle and bone density and higher levels of testosterone.
One of Thomas’s teammates has indicated that his presence in the women’s locker room of Penn’s swimming team makes the female swimmers uncomfortable.
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