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Men in Women's Sports Part 1: Lia Thomas

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

This is the first of what is going to be a 3-part article. In part 1 I'm going to give you the full Lia Thomas story. Here is an episode of The Boiling Point Podcast I did on the subject.

The Media has not given us the full story about what happened regarding Lia Thomas. The reason I know this is because I had to go to 3 different sites and read 3 different stories to figure out exactly what was going on. So, if anyone you know is wondering what the full story is, refer them to this article.

Lia Thomas is a Trans-woman, meaning he wanted to change sex from male to female. He began transitioning in May of 2019 and competed on the men’s team in the ‘19-’20 season. He then took off for the '20 - ‘21 season so he could remain eligible, the season was cancelled due to the pandemic. He then swam for the female team during the ‘21 - ‘22 season.

Below shows the drop in his times after transitioning, but as I will show later the times between men and women are stunning.

Now I’m going to show you times from 100-meter, 500 meter, and 1000. I will show you where the fastest female swimmer ranks among the men. These stats are available here - Men - Women. I will be using the stats from the 2021 season for this comparison. (Spoiler: Lia Thomas is the fastest in the 500m.)

As you can see in the 100m; the fastest female Rebecca Ssengonzi with a time of 44.24 that year is ranked 1,304 out of 2,997 men. I should also point out that only 2 women have times that even rank with the men. Gretchen Walsh who is ranked 3rd with a time of 46.05 is still .84 seconds slower than Thomas Shepanzyk who sits last with the slowest time in the 100m.

In the 500m Lia Thomas’ time of 4:33:24 ranks 2,364 among the men. Similar to the 100m, there were only 3 women swimmers that ranked among the men. In the 1000-meter there are 91 women that ranked higher than last, but even the fastest women only ranks 761 among the men.

Check out The Boiling Point Podcast, where I talk about this topic in more detail and compare Katie Ledecky’s times against her male competitors.

If the above evidence doesn’t sway you to the fact that men shouldn’t compete against women, stay tuned for part 2.

To finish this article off, we turn back to Lia Thomas. Being a male competing against females doesn’t end his story. Now we’re going to talk about UPENN and the coaches potentially suppressing opinions of swimmers with threats of being kicked off the team, and Lia Thomas himself being accused of “shaving his time” or “coasting” in swim meets.

In December of 2021, ten parents of UPENN swimmers wrote a letter to the University, The Ivy League, and the NCAA demanding they change the rules that allow someone like Lia Thomas to compete against their daughters.

On Jan 23rd 2022, a UPENN female swimmer spoke anonymously to the Washington Examiner; “Lia was not even close to being competitive as a man in the 50 and the 100 (freestyle events),” the anonymous swimmer said. “But just because Lia is biologically a man, [Lia] is just naturally better than many females in the 50 and the 100 or anything that [Lia] wasn’t good at as a man.” She also says in the same article that “Women are now third-class citizens.”

This anonymous swimmer also said; “The top people at NCAA, who are on the board of directors … they are not protecting women’s rights, Imagine if there was this kind of inequality in men’s sports. Or someone found out about doping in a men’s sport. It would be fixed in a blink of an eye. Everyone would be all over it. But because it’s women, they don’t care.”

Around the same time this swimmer spoke out, another (or possibly the same) swimmer spoke out in an article by OutKick. There’s no accurate time stamp on the story, so its hard to pinpoint exactly when it was released. The story reported on OutKick claimed that Lia Thomas was colluding with opponents and “not trying” when she began to lose races.

The alleged collusion came against another Trans swimmer. Iszac Hennig who is a female transitioning to male swimmer, that won the 100-meter during an event on Jan 8th. Lia ran the 100m in 52.84 second, which is 3.42 seconds slower than her time in the same event just two months prior. Unless she was suffering from pneumonia, that is a highly irregular time differential in the same event. The anonymous swimmer also accused her of “coasting” in the 200-meter during the same meet, fans said she was “coasting” or “barely trying” during the 500-meter, an event she won but only by 1 second.

That wasn’t the only controversy on the Jan 8th event. UPENN swimmers were told to cover their school logos on any bags or clothing they would wear while at the event, because of the Lia Thomas controversy. The team did as was asked, save for one. Lia Thomas himself did not bother to cover any school logos at all, and instead just ignored the request. Something the rest of the team did not appreciate according to the same source.

On Feb 1st UPENN released a statement supporting Lia Thomas. The statement did not have the signatures of his teammates but the spokesperson said it reflected “many on the team.” That fact that it did not have the signatures of all members of the women’s swim team with the fact the spokesperson said “many” and not all, as well as his teammates remaining anonymous when speaking out would support rumors that UPENN swimmers were threatened against speaking out against Lia Thomas.

In closing for part 1, the facts(times) show us that men shouldn’t be competing against women, and that Lia Thomas has no regard for sportsmanship, his teammates and the accolades he is receiving while competing against females are hollow.

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Johnathan D. Edmonds

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