ATLANTA — Onlookers cheered Thursday evening as a biological man who identifies as a transgender woman annihilated female competitors in a collegiate race.
University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas clocked in at 4:33:24, finishing first in the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship 500 yard freestyle.
The University of Virginia’s Emma Weyant, a freshman, finished second with 4 minutes 34 seconds and 99 milliseconds, dropping 2 seconds and 26 milliseconds from her previous time.
Erica Sullivan, a freshman from the University of Texas, finished third at 4 minutes, 35 seconds, and 92 milliseconds.
Sullivan and Weyant did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Daily Wire.
Thomas’ participation in female athletic events — and the NCAA’s decision to allow Thomas to do so — has sparked controversy across the nation.
One of Thomas’ teammates, who spoke to Fox News on the condition of anonymity, told the publication that the transgender swimmer’s participation in women’s athletics has “completely ruined the integrity of the sport.”
“It’s not necessarily an achievement in my mind,” she said. “Women’s records are separate from men’s records. 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 when in reality it makes no scientific sense to do so.”
The student added that she finds it “disappointing to know that the NCAA lacks the courage to do the right thing.”
“I think if Lia were to break an Olympian’s record, it would cause a lot of damage to the sport and to women, and I think it would cause more people to come out [against the guidelines], people that were afraid to speak before,” the student said.
In a March interview with Sports Illustrated, Thomas expressed the desire to “show trans kids and younger trans athletes that they’re not alone,” adding, “They don’t have to choose between who they are and the sport they love.” Sports Illustrated reports that Thomas is on course to be 7-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky’s “teammate at the 2024 Games in Paris — and perhaps challenge Ledecky’s Olympic records.”
Eleven states have recently enacted legislation banning biological males from competing in women’s sports, and at least 29 states have made moves to craft or pass legislation banning biological males from women’s sports, according to data compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Other Republican-backed legislation bans minors from obtaining transgender surgeries and hormones — medical interventions that advocates and many in the legacy media frame as “gender-affirming medical care.”
During the State of the Union address, President Joe Biden urged lawmakers to enact the radically progressive Equality Act, criticizing the “onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families.”
“As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your president so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential,” Biden added.