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Lia Thomas, Making History or Taking a Step Backwards for Female Athletes?

Last Thursday, Lia Thomas, a transgender identified swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania, became the first known male athlete to win a women’s Division 1 national championship in the 500-yard freestyle. Thomas finished 1.75 seconds ahead of the second-place swimmer, Emma Weyant, who should have been first. 

Thomas’ win has sparked intense controversy and fear for what sports will soon look like for women if biological males are allowed to compete in women’s sports. What some claim is a great step in making history, is in reality a step backwards in history for women. 

While the crowd was cheering loud during the race, it was evident that not everyone was in support of Thomas competing in the 500-yard freestyle. The fans became noticeably quiet during Thomas’ introduction, according to ESPN. After Thomas finished the race, a protestor shouted out, “Shame! Shame on the NCAA! He’s a man!” 

Although, there are also people who strongly support Thomas, such as Schulyer Bailar,  a transgender identifed swimmer who was the first woman to compete on a Division 1 men’s swimming team. She stated, “the fact that she’s [he’s] able to show up here, despite protesters outside, people shouting and booing her, I think it’s a testament to her [his] resiliency. And it’s also a symbol that we can both be who we are and do what we love.” 

Irregardless of Thomas’s few supporters, most agree that allowing Lia Thomas to compete against women is wrong.The podium picture from the end of the 500-meter final clarified where the swimmers stand and should end the debate alone. 

In the photo Thomas stands alone holding his trophy on the first place stand, while the three girls who placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, crowd together on the podium farthest from Thomas for a photo op. 

Allowing a biological male to compete in the women’s competition only proves that women’s rights are being put aside solely for political correctness. After the meet, an unnamed Virginia Tech swimmer, who also competed in the 500-yard freestyle, stated in a post swim interview, “It is a common conception that we are all very disappointed and frustrated with someone who has capabilities more than us women have to be able to compete at this level and take opportunities from other women.”

The Virginia Tech athlete is correct as Thomas’ male body is scientifically proven to be built differently from a biological woman. These differences are very evident in sports.  A study published by the American Physiological Society found that “male muscles have a higher capacity for anaerobic metabolism and generate a higher maximum power output than female muscles.” Physiologically, men and women are obviously different. Thus allowing athletes to compete based on gender identity for ‘fairness and equality,’  rather than biological sex, only robs women of the chance to truly compete fairly.  

Reka Gyorgy, a Virginia Tech swimmer who placed 17th in the event, released a full statement on the NCAA allowing Thomas to compete. Gyorgy was directly affected by having to compete against Thomas, as she finished 17th in the event. That means in her last college meet she was the first alternate and did not make it to the finals. 

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA) discussed how “the future of women’s sports is at risk and the equal rights of female athletes are being infringed.” In response to Thomas being allowed to compete on a women’s swim team, CWA “filed a formal Civil Rights Complaint under Title IX with the U.S. Department of Education against the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) for refusing to protect the rights of college female athletes under federal law.”

Allowing transgender identified women to compete on a women’s sports team is an injustice to female athletes, and it goes directly against biblical truths. Genesis 1:27, “so God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Psalm 139:13-14 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” These verses clarify that God has created us as either male or female, and he made us exactly who we are supposed to be. He makes no mistakes. 

We must get involved, protect the genders as God has created them, stand up for the injustice seen in women’s sports, and speak out in support of women athletes. Pray for truth to prevail, and contact the NCAA and tell them to change their transgender athlete policy to protect women’s sports. A sample letter, as well as contact information, can be found here

 

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