After transgender athlete Lia Thomas cruised to an easy win in the national 500 yard freestyle, spectators at the National Collegiate Athletic Association swimming championship were visibly agitated, claiming it was not a fair competition.
Lia Thomas, widely regarded as the world’s most controversial athlete, has become the first transgender athlete to win a National Collegiate Athletic Association swimming championship – with the crowd reacting angrily to her controversial victory.
On Thursday evening, the 22-year-old UPenn swimmer won the 500 yard freestyle in Atlanta in a time of 4 minutes, 33.24 seconds.
Following that, the crowd became noticeably more animated when shouting for Emma Weyant of the University of Virginia, who had finished second. She was born a woman and swam a time of 4:34.99.
While there were shouts for Thomas, there were also boos from the audience, as she continues to face charges that going through male puberty gave her an unfair advantage over her competitors.
‘I try to ignore it as much as I can,’ Thomas said after the race, when asked about the reaction. ‘I try to focus on my swimming and what I need to do to be ready for my races, and I just try to shut out anything else.’
It means the world to be here, to be with two of my best friend and teammates and be able to compete.’
Most individuals in the audience believe Lia should be competing in the men’s competition, based on the crowd’s reaction.
DailyMail report: Thomas, whose continued wins and record-breaking performances have made her the world’s most controversial athlete, also roundly defeated fellow swimmers at last month’s Ivy League championships.
The Texan, who swam for three years on the university’s men’s team before transitioning in 2019, is now the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA championship – a distinction one of Thomas’ teammates said would be dubious if achieved.
Thomas has undergone the required hormone treatment to meet the current rules for transgender athletes, but critics say her stunning performances prove that she still retains a considerable and unfair advantage.
‘It’s not necessarily an achievement in my mind,’ said one of Thomas’ teammates on UPenn’s Women’s Swim Team.
The teammate, who refused to give her name for fear of repercussions, told Fox News Digital that Thomas’s participation in D1-sanctioned women’s events has ‘completely ruined the integrity of the sport.’
She said Thomas’ achievements while on the women’s team should be taken with a grain of salt, due to the biological advantages of being born a man.
‘It’s its own distinct category because no woman is going to be as fast as a man, and here, is just completely – we’re just throwing away the definition of a record to fit into someone else’s agenda of what it should mean to them,‘ she said.
‘In reality, it makes no scientific sense to do so.‘