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Trans College Swim Star Lia Thomas Gets Support of Over 300 Swimmers Amid Debate

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Lia Thomas is getting a lot of love and support from the swimming community. The 22-year-old UPenn women’s team athlete has been making headlines lately amid heated debates and backlash regarding her ability to compete as a transgender woman in the sport. Click inside to read more… Now, 322 former and current swimmers have voiced their support for Lia in the form of an open letter sent to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), saying they “support and welcome transgender and non-binary athletes in our sport.” “There are very real, documented threats to women’s swimming, including but not limited to rampant sexual abuse, and an inequitable number of women’s coaches within USA Swimming,” the letter reads. “Transgender women are not and have never been a part of these challenges to women’s swimming, and sidelining them from sport does nothing to protect women athletes,” it continues.

USA Swimming announced a new policy for elite trans swimmers, in which trans women athletes must appear before a medical panel of three people, who will assess whether “prior physical development of the athlete as a male” gives them an advantage in swimming,” via Pink News.

They will also have to undergo testosterone testing for 36 months before competing. The open letter asks that the NCAA not adopt USA Swimming’s policy, and to allow trans and non-binary athletes to be “directly engaged” with policy changes. “We express our support for Lia Thomas, and all transgender college athletes, who deserve to be able to participate in safe and welcoming athletic environments…we urge you to not allow political pressure to compromise the safety and wellbeing of college athletes everywhere.” Click here to see the full letter.

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