William Thomas, who now goes by Lia, is a trans swimmer at UPenn who has been wrecking multiple women's swim records, which isn't surprising considering he's a man.
The NCAA swimming championships are currently taking place in Atlanta, and Lia Thomas is in attendance along with his female teammates. Thomas, 22, has already been breaking women's swim records and winning by many seconds at prior meets, so it's not at all shocking to see him rack up the wins at this competition in Atlanta as well. He won the 500-yard freestyle race yesterday by five whole seconds. However, one swimmer was brave enough to speak up about how unfair this has all been for the female athletes.
Virginia Tech Swimmer Opens Up About Competing Against Lia Thomas
Reporter Savanah Hernandez was able to interview a young swimmer from Virginia Tech who has been competing in the NCAA championships. She reluctantly opened up about what it's like to compete against a young man when you're a female athlete.
"We are all very disappointed and frustrated with someone who has capabilities more than us women have to be able to compete at this level and take opportunities away from other women," the athlete said. She spoke about how so many of these young women go into the swim meets against Lia Thomas with the mindset that they "don't have a chance."
"I have a teammate who did not make finals today because she was just bumped out of finals," she continued. "It's heartbreaking to see someone who went through puberty as a male and has the body of a male be able to absolutely blow away the competition."
When Hernandez asked her what her teammate's reaction was, she answered, "She was very emotional and it's hard to see because it's her last NCAAs and she put all her effort into it today." Apparently, her teammate swam one of her best times but it still wasn't enough. She came in 17th place and only the top 16 went to the finals — and that top 16 included Lia Thomas.
The swimmer pointed out that Thomas has "the aerobic capacity and the muscle development and the body of a man," and it's "overwhelming and frustrating" to see so many women have their dreams crushed by a young man.
Hernandez, who has been on site at the NCAA championships, said that a parent of one of the swimmers told her that the athletes aren't allowed to speak to anyone in the media about Lia Thomas. "They're not even allowed to mention Thomas' name in the locker room," Hernandez tweeted.
Thomas will be swimming in more meets this weekend, and many expect him to continue unfairly stealing medals and records from hard-working female athletes.