Yale Swimmer Switches to Men's Team After Trans Surgery, Scoreboard Provides Brutal Reality Check


She’s the best argument around for why “transgender” athletes shouldn’t be competing in sports against the opposite sex — but won’t admit it.

A woman who was one of the top swimmers for Yale’s varsity women’s team last year is finishing at the bottom ranks while competing on the men’s team this year.

And if Iszac Henig’s record of going from All-American to coming in 79th in a field of 83 isn’t bad enough, a look at the competition should seal the deal.

In a lengthy opinion piece published last week by The New York Times, Henig described her life as being sexually confused since fourth grade.

She talked about her success as a swimmer in women’s competition up until her senior year when she changed to the men’s team.

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And she described how satisfied she is to have gone from a “power player” in her chosen sport to a bit player (not her words, of course) cheering on her more successful teammates who are stronger and faster than she’ll ever be by virtue of inhabiting male bodies.

She described experimenting with wearing “binders” — garments aimed at suppressing a woman’s chest — before getting an optional double mastectomy — the obscenity of surgical removal of healthy breasts to match her imagined reality.

“Now I’m a senior, swimming with the men. I’ve been taking hormones for almost eight months; my times are about the same as they were at the end of last season,” she wrote. “Right before Thanksgiving we finished a meet against Ohio State, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and others. I wasn’t the slowest guy in any of my events, but I’m not as successful in the sport as I was on the women’s team.”

She’s “not as successful” is one way of putting it. Henig left out details furnished by Joe Kinsey, a writer for the sports-centric conservative website OutKick.

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The only swimmers she defeated, according to Kinsey, were a man born without a left forearm (a real handicap in freestyle swimming) and three swimmers who specialize in the breaststroke (ironically enough) — which even non-swimmers can recognize as a considerably different competition.

For normal human beings with a logical mind and an ounce of common sense, those results say it all.

Whatever Henig thinks of herself, whatever “identity” she wishes to portray in public, Mother Nature is having the final word.

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Henig’s body and its development made her one of the top-ranked women swimmers in the United States. That same body and its development is simply not capable of competing with male counterparts.

Judging by Henig’s piece in the Times, she’s entirely content with that.

Instead of being a winner, she wrote, “I’m trying to connect with my teammates in new ways, to cheer loudly, to focus more on the excitement of the sport. Competing and being challenged is the best part. It’s a different kind of fulfillment. And it’s pretty great to feel comfortable in the locker room every day.”

That’s terrific for Henig, seriously.

Outside observers might have a different view. On Wednesday, National Review’s Madeleine Kearns published an opinion column about Henig’s piece titled “Celebrating Self-Destruction,” which summed up the situation pretty succinctly.

But if a one-time champion deliberately chooses to take herself out of the running in competition, she’s got every right to.

The problem is that Henig’s piece in the Times concludes with a de facto diktat that every other woman competing in athletics be forced to accept the same results.

“I believe that when trans athletes win, we deserve to be celebrated just as cis athletes are. We are not cheating by pursuing our true selves — we have not forsaken our legitimacy. Elite sports are always a combination of natural advantage or talent and commitment to hard work. There is so much more to a great athlete than hormones or height. I swim faster than some cis men ever will.”

That’s misdirection, bordering on outright deception.

The problem with transgender athletes competing against members of the opposite is not now and never will be women trying to outmuscle men.

The problem is men like the University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, using his God-given natural strengths to dominate women in a sport where he had been only a mediocre competitor against men, and winning Penn’s nomination for the NCAA’s “Woman of the Year” award.

The problem is male “transgender” weightlifters claiming to be women with a shamelessness that makes the old East German sports cheats look like models of sportsmanship.

The problem is even male mixed martial artists literally beating women is a supposedly fair fight.

The problem is male track and field athletes defeating deserving women because sports authorities don’t have the spine to stand up for common sense.

And the problem is an inherently dishonest culture where Democratic politicians, progressive celebrities, and other influential voices pretend the unreal is real.

No one — not Henig, not The New York Times, not the dishonest, bleating progressives on CNN and elsewhere in the insane establishment media — has the right to take away from women athletes their rightful opportunities for scholarships, careers, or even just fair competition in the name of declaring a lie to be the truth.

Check out this “Nightline” profile of Henig broadcast in February 2022.

To give an idea of the objectivity of the piece, it introduces the young woman by saying she “was assigned female at birth.” Interviewer Juju Chang, in a question about Lia Thomas put air quotes around the word “women” to describe his competitors. (Wonder if Chang’s husband thinks of her as a “woman” — who bore him three sons.)

Whatever catharsis she might have gotten from spilling her story in The New York Times, it amounted to a lengthy example of exactly why women’s sports should remain reserved for women and men’s for men, even if Henig can’t or won’t understand that.

The whole point of women’s sports is that female athletes are not relegated to cheering on men from the sidelines.

But that’s exactly where Henig has placed herself, by competing in a class of athletes where she simply has no chance.

One look at the scoreboard from that meet in Ohio is the kind of brutal reality check that should say it all.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.