Transgender swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania, Lia Thomas continues to rule this season by thrashing records one after another.
Lia Thomas who competed previously as a man smashed US records this weekend, instigating a new debate regarding unfairness.
22 years old Lia Thomas, gave an astounding performance at the Zippy invitational event at Akron, Ohio.
She finished the 1650-yard freestyle in mere 38 seconds beating her own team member Anna Sofia Kalandaze.
Her winning time was 15:59:71.
Lia Thomas set a new record for the Zippy event. Thomas, later on, smashed 2 other US women’s swimming records at the same event.
Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:34:06 breaking a US record.
On Saturday she won a 200-yard freestyle race in 1:41:93 becoming the first-ever female in the US with this time, creating a new record.
Lia Thomas competed previously as Will Thomas. She took part as a man for two full seasons. This is the first time she is taking part as a transgender.
Overall, at the weekend she won three events at the tournament whereas making 3 new records which include two Ivy League records.
As the swimmer continues to thrash one record after another, she has garnered immense criticism and attention which have evolved into controversies involving the transgender community, particularly the athletes.
According to the critics “trans female athletes can still have considerable advantages over their cisgender female rivals, because of height and weight advantages they may retain even after hormone treatment.”
Thomas competed as a man last on 16th November 2019. She was allowed to participate in this ongoing event.
She stated ‘The process of coming out as being trans and continuing to swim was a lot of uncertainty and unknown around an area that’s usually really solid,’ she told Penn Today in June. ‘Realizing I was trans threw that into question. Was I going to keep swimming? What did that look like?’
Nevertheless, Lia Thomas has met immense criticism on different social media platforms.
‘This should outrage every person who’s ever advocated for women in athletics,’ wrote Jessica Cole.
‘A disgrace for all the hard-working female swimmers,’ added Claude Gregory while openly criticizing Lia Thomas’s performance.