Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a proclamation on Tuesday declaring that Sarasota native and Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant was “the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle” in last week’s NCAA championship.
Weyant, who is a freshman at the University of Virginia, clocked a time of 4:34.99 last Thursday, falling behind Thomas during the final stretch of the 500-yard event.
“By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud,” DeSantis said in a tweet. “In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”
The proclamation states:
WHEREAS, Emma Weyant of Sarasota is an accomplished woman who excelled in academics and athletics as a student-athlete at Riverview High School where she was a member of the National Honor Society, a Scholastic All-American, and an award winning swimmer; and
WHEREAS, during her time competing in girls’ high school swimming, Emma Weyant ranked number one in the 400-yard Individual medley In the 18 & Under World 100 Ranking, was a four-time Florida High School Athletic Association 4A State Champion in the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley, was the 2018 Junior Pan Pac Champion in the 400-yard individual medley, was the 2019 U.S. National Champion in the 400-yard individual medley, was named a four-time High School All-American, and was selected as a member of the U.S. National Junior Team; and
WHEREAS, Emma Weyant qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympics team and competed in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics where she won a silver medal in the women’s 400-meter individual medley; and
WHEREAS, Emma Weyant currently attends the University of Virginia where she is a member of the school’s women’s swim team and made it to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division 1 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships; and
WHEREAS, on Thursday, March 17, 2022, Emma Weyant competed in the 500-yard freestyle race at the Division 1 Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, logging the fastest time among all women swimmers; and
WHEREAS, a male identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Emma was determined to have come in second place; and
WHEREAS, the NCAA’s actions serve to erode opportunities for women athletes and perpetuate a fraud against women athletes as well as the public at large; and
WHEREAS, on June 1, 2021, I signed SB 1028, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, to preserve fair opportunities for female athletes to demonstrate their strength, skills, and abilities in athletic competition; and
WHEREAS, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act specifies that an athletic team or sport that is designated for females, women, or girls may not be open to students of the male sex, based on the student’s biological sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate at the time of birth; and
WHEREAS, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act applies to interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by a public secondary school, high school, public college, or university institution in the state of Florida; and
WHEREAS, women have fought for decades to have equal opportunities in athletics, and it is wrong to allow ideology to erode these opportunities as is happening in other states, and the preservation of women-specific athletic teams or sports is necessary to promote equality of athletic opportunities; and
WHEREAS, it is my determination that men should not be competing against women such as Emma Weyant, robbing women and girls of achievements, awards, and scholarships; and
WHEREAS, Florida rejects the NCAA’s efforts to destroy women’s athletics, disapproves of the NCAA elevating ideology over biology, and takes offense at the NCAA trying to make others complicit in a lie.
NOW THEREFORE, since she is a native Floridian from Sarasota, I, Ron Desantis, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare in Florida that Emma Weyant is the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women’s 500-yard Freestyle, congratulate her on yet another significant achievement, and express pride that she is a Florida resident.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capital, this 22nd day of March, in the year two thousand twenty-two.
By allowing men to compete in women's sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud.
In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota's Emma Weyant as the best women's swimmer in the 500y freestyle. pic.twitter.com/tBmFxFE3q6
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 22, 2022