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Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas' Olympics Hopes Crushed by Court Decision

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Finally, a little bit of justice for women competing in competitive sports.

Swimmer Lia Thomas, who rocked the world of women’s swimming by becoming the first male NCAA women’s champion, got some bad news on Wednesday — the Court of Arbitration for Sport threw out his case against World Aquatics, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail.

What does this mean?

Well, it slams the door shut on Thomas’ hopes of competing, at least at next month’s Paris Olympics and any other top female events governed by World Aquatics.

The catalyst for World Aquatics implementing the new transgender participation rules was Thomas’ victory over Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant to claim the 2022 NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle title, according to The Guardian.

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World Aquatics cited scientific research showing that transgender athletes — like Thomas — maintain substantial biological advantages in areas such as endurance, power, speed, muscular strength, and lung capacity stemming from male puberty, advantages that could persist even after testosterone suppression therapy, according to The Guardian.

Thomas argued that these rules were “invalid and unlawful” and violated principles of non-discrimination.

“The panel concludes that since the Athlete is not entitled to participate in ‘Elite Event’ within the meaning of USA Swimming Policy, let alone to compete in a WA competition, which occurs upon registration with WA prior to a competition or upon setting a performance which leads to a request for registration as WA world record, she is simply not entitled to engage with eligibility to compete in WA competitions,” the ruling stated.

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World Aquatics celebrated the ruling, calling it “a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport”.

Former University of Kentucky swimmer and outspoken advocate for women in sports, Riley Gaines, posted on X, “Great news! Lia Thomas won’t be able to compete in women’s category at the Olympics or any other elite competition. He has just lost his legal battle in Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling. This is a victory for women and girls everywhere.”

Gaines has spoken out about feeling devalued when she was forced to share a trophy with Thomas, a 6’4″ male who had gone through male puberty. The NCAA’s insistence that Gaines treat Thomas as a woman pushed Gaines to break her silence. She has since founded an organization aimed at protecting female athletics and hosts “Gaines for Girls” on OutKick, according to Fox News.

While the ruling is definitely good news, the question remains: How did we even get here?

Related:
Transgender Athlete Qualifies for U.S. Olympic Team

Biologically, male and female bodies have innate differences, on average, in areas like bone structure, muscle mass, strength, cardiovascular capacity and other physiological factors that can convey certain athletic advantages.

For transgender athletes, even after hormone therapy, these physical advantages create competitive disparities when competing against women.

While World Aquatics has acknowledged that, many other sports continue to play around the edges of science.

The New York Times even published a piece citing a study financed by the International Olympic Committee claiming that transgender female athletes showed “lower jumping ability, lung function and relative cardiovascular fitness compared with women whose gender was assigned female at birth,” a finding which flies in the face of the lived experience of every straight-thinking human.

Every effort seems to be being made to cover up a simple biological fact: Men are, in general, stronger, bigger, and faster than women and should not be competing in the same categories as them.

Women in 2024 should not be forced to fight for the right to win at sports designed especially for them.

While the World Aquatics decision is encouraging, young athletes in many other sports are forced to smile and take it when they are defeated by stronger and faster men competing in their arena or risk being labeled homophobic.

On the bright side, at least spectators won’t have to be visually assaulted by a giant man competing against women in the Paris Olympics this summer.

It’s a small step in the right direction, but in a continually uphill battle, even small wins are worth celebrating.


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Rachel Emmanuel has served as the director of content on a Republican congressional campaign and writes content for a popular conservative book franchise.
Rachel M. Emmanuel has served as the Director of Content on a Republican Congressional campaign and writes for a popular Conservative book franchise.




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