On Saturday, two transgender contestants, one born male claiming to be female and the other born female claiming to be male, competed in an Ivy League swim meet — both in the women’s bracket featuring Yale University, Dartmouth College, and University of Pennsylvania competitors.
Lia Thomas was born a male and for three years swam on Penn’s men’s swim team before “transitioning” senior year. Thomas has made headlines repeatedly over the last few months for dominating against female competitors all season. But at the event this weekend, Thomas received a peculiar upset after losing to Iszack Henig, who is being allowed to swim against women for Yale despite now claiming to be a man.
After completing races for the day, Henig went topless, revealing a chest that has undergone breast removal surgery.
According to The Daily Mail, “Thomas was crushed twice in a women’s swim meet by another transgender competitor who is transitioning from female to male – first in the 100-yard freestyle,” where Thomas placed fifth, and then again in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
According to parents who asked to remain anonymous, Thomas seemed to be “coasting” and “barely trying” while winning the first of four races by just two seconds. The races were close despite the fact that Thomas shattered two women’s records with a 38-second margin against the next closest competitor earlier this season. The freestyle race was also much closer for the victorious Penn swimmer than in previous races.
Accordingly, Henig “also finished first in the earlier 50-yard freestyle,” beating Thomas by three seconds. After the race, parents witnessed a shirtless Heing walk around the pool deck.
“I wasn’t prepared for that. Everything is messed up. I can’t wrap my head around this. The NCAA needs to do something about this. They need to put science into the decision and discussion,” a UPenn parent told DailyMail.com.
Another parent, perhaps confused by the terminology, said of Henig, “A man just crushed the women’s team.”
Henig is allowed to swim against women because the Yale swimmer has not undergone transgender hormone treatment. Henig clarified that explanation further in a 2021 opinion column.
“As a student athlete, coming out as a trans guy put me in a weird position. I could start hormones to align more with myself, or wait, transition socially, and keep competing on a women’s swim team. I decided on the latter,” Henig wrote.
“I value my contributions to the team and recognize that my boyhood doesn’t hinge on whether there’s more or less testosterone running through my veins,” Henig wrote. “At least, that’s what I’ll try to remember when I put on the women’s swimsuit for the competition and am reminded of a self I no longer feel attached to.”
As The Daily Wire reported last month, Thomas’ teammates who were upset that a man was allowed to swim against them were planning to boycott marquee swimming events if Thomas was allowed to continue to dominate.
After Thomas’ uncharacteristically bad day, at least one parent speculated that the Penn swimmer, and possibly others, threw the race slightly to avoid that conflict next week.
“How convenient that they have now avoided this potential conflict that they’re now aware was going to take place,” a parent told DailyMail.com.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.