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(Video Credit: Fox News)
Transgender swimmers Lia Thomas and Iszac Henig dominated in Ivy League swimming events this week while debate swirled around eligibility rules and competitors such as Team USA World Masters track athlete Cynthia Monteleone declared that it would be “the end of women’s sports.”
The unfairness of the competition is apparent. Transgender athletes have more muscle, larger hearts, and greater lung capacity according to experts. Penn’s Thomas and Yale’s Henig prove that assertion as they crush the competition in swimming events.
Thomas set a record in the 200-yard freestyle competition on her way to another conference title at Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool this week.
Henig won the Ivy League Championship in the 50 free Thursday evening. The swimmer is currently transitioning from female to male.
ESPN Plus commentator Alex Vispoli remarked on Thursday that he and fellow announcer Adam Giardino spoke to Penn coach Mike Schnur and relayed the coach’s thoughts during Thomas’ 500 free event.
“He says after what she has been put through, he calls her ‘the bravest kid that he’s ever met. All of the attention that has been bestowed upon her says that she has unbelievable courage,'” Vispoli noted, referring to Schnur’s message.
“And he has known Lia for a long time. And the one thing that has always shined through when it comes to Lia is her love of swimming and how much she loves the sport. And that should be one of the main takeaways, and the love that somebody has for a sport for that to be so big in this sport should certainly be appreciated,” he added.
(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)
Giardino stated, “And it’s a sport, swimming, that you really do get to put in the work and see the results. You get to put your head down sometimes. I think a lot of us during the pandemic, I think we found things that are stress relievers. Swimming is certainly something she has taken to and is something that, above all else, she’s incredibly talented at.”
The NCAA’s governing body for college athletics announced in January its updated transgender participation policy, stating that eligibility would be determined on a sport-by-sport basis. If there is no national governing body for the sport, then the NCAA sport will follow the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) policy. The policy is slated to become effective in March starting with the Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, March 16-19.
On Feb. 1, USA Swimming updated its policy requiring transgender athletes who are competing at an elite level to have low levels of testosterone for at least 36 months before being eligible. That’s roughly half of what Thomas was allowed to compete with. The NCAA has since determined it would not alter its testosterone guidance, stating that “implementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships.”
That cleared the way for Thomas to compete in the NCAA Championships.
“I’m feeling confident and good in my swimming and all my personal relationships, and transitioning has allowed me to be more confident in all of those aspects of my life where I was struggling a lot before I came out,” the transgender swimmer said during a podcast.
Many were less than thrilled that Thomas qualified.
It’s not Lia’s fault- the rules stink… #notfair https://t.co/uTn7uYEDmH
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) February 18, 2022
Record breaking is one part of the destruction of women’s sport. Some female WRs in athletics are ‘fossilised’ bc of doping – no female can now get near them. The exciting goal of breaking a WR removed for all females. Same now w males taking female records. https://t.co/spKMzL0RGV
— Mara Yamauchi (@mara_yamauchi) February 18, 2022
The most common argument for incorporating trans athletes was "why does it matter? They don't even win." Now that one is dominant, the argument flips to "you're just mad because they're winning." https://t.co/P6wc7q1eao
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) February 17, 2022
“At every level, from elementary to collegiate, trans athletes have been competing for years, and the extremely negative predictions about what will happen to sports have already been shown to be false,” Henig argued. “In every sport, at every level, there is a wide range of athletic abilities on display. Trans athletes are no different and don’t change this.”
“As a student-athlete, coming out as a trans guy put me in a weird position,” Henig wrote at the New York Times. “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.
“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. 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,” he wrote.
Team USA World Masters track athlete Cynthia Monteleone is speaking out about the sports’ demise due to the inclusion of transgenders in the field. She nearly lost to a transgender runner in 2018 and her daughter lost to a transgender athlete, she wrote in an opinion piece on Fox News.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Her daughter experienced a “‘demoralizing trend of male-bodied athletes displacing females from their own competitions,” according to Monteleone.
“A year and a half after my experience in Spain, my daughter lost to a biological male identifying as female in her first-ever high school track race. I had watched proudly as my strong and determined girl did all the right things – made personal, difficult sacrifices to train her body to be as fast and fit as possible for her first race,” she said.
“Yet all her hard work seemed to drift away along with the male-bodied athlete, who had just transferred from the boys’ volleyball team to the girl’s team the season before. The athlete breezed right by her to win first place, leaving her to finish second,” the mother recounted. “She deserved to win. She put in the work. But she had no chance because of the biological advantage of this male-bodied athlete.”
She asserted that the current administration is putting the “nail in the coffin” of female sports, before going on to encourage biological female athletes to speak out against injustices.
“Have that courage and focus on what’s at stake for the future,” Monteleone urged.
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