GOP Senate Candidate Blasts Transgender Swimmer Lia Thomas Competing In Women’s Sports In New Campaign Ad
University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas reacts after swimming the 100 Freestyle prelims at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 19th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ohio Republican Senate candidate Jane Timken blasted the NCAA and Democrats over transgender swimmer Lia Thomas competing in women’s sports in a new campaign ad released on Monday.

The 30-second ad called “Compete” shows Timken highlighting her background as a former female college athlete, blaming rules by the NCAA for allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports on the failed leadership of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party.

“As a mom and former college athlete, I know how important women’s sports are. They teach our girls to be winners,” Timken said in the video.

“But the Biden Democrats want to force our daughters to compete against men in the pool and on the court,” she added.

The video then cuts to footage of Thomas competing in a women’s swimming event.

The ad is expected to air on Ohio outlets and is available on YouTube and other locations online.

Timken is not the only Republican to speak out on the issue recently. 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. The Daily Wire reported:

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.”

A variety of athletes have spoken out against the issue as well.

“My name is Reka Gyorgy from Hungary. I am a 2016 Rio Olympian, represented Virginia Tech for the past 5 years, a 2 time ACC champion, 2 time All-American and 3 time honorable mention All-American,” wrote Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy in a letter to the NCAA that she posted on Instagram.

“With all due respect, I would like to address something that is a problem in our sport right now and hurting athletes, especially swimmers,” Gyorgy wrote. “Everyone has heard and known about transgender [swimmer], Lia Thomas, and her case including all the issues and concerns that her situation brought into our sport.”

“She is doing what she is passionate about and deserves that right,” Gyorgy wrote. “On the other hand, I would like to critique the NCAA rules that allow her to compete against us, who are biologically women.”

“I’m writing this letter right now in hopes that the NCAA will open their eyes and change these rules in the future. It doesn’t promote our sport in a good way and I think it is disrespectful against the biologically female swimmers who are competing in the NCAA,” she added.

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