A trans swimmer and senior at the University of Pennsylvania, who previously spent three years competing as a man, is now crushing records in women’s events, sparking outrage amid controversy surrounding transgender athletes.
Lia Thomas, 22, formerly named Will, has competed in a number of events recently, including a tri-meet with Cornell and Princeton universities on November 20 where the senior ‘blasted’ UPenn records in the 200m and 500m freestyle – posting times that beat almost every other female swimmer across America.
With a time of 1:43:47 in the 200m freestyle, Thomas would have been in line to secure a silver medal at the NCAA Women’s Championships, while her 4:35:06 in the 500m freestyle would have been good enough to win bronze.
This is the latest controversy in the ongoing argument over whether trans people should be allowed to compete in sports alongside athletes of the opposite gender than they were assigned at birth.
It is unknown when Thomas began transitioning, but NCAA rules state she had to have completed one year of testosterone suppression treatment in order to compete.
Her last known men’s event was November 16, 2019.