The 25-year-old student missed out on competing in the 500-yard women’s NCAA championships freestyle finals last week. The former Olympian reportedly claims her spot was taken away by a transgender swimmer. The 22-year-old transgender swimmer won the event. The transgender swimmer had been causing ongoing controversy in recent weeks after breaking a number of college records and last week becoming the first transgender athlete to win a top tier title with victory in the 500-yard freestyle.
Unfortunately, the 25-year-old Virginia Tech swimmer, Reka Gyorgy, finished 17th in the preliminary heats of the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships last Thursday. This means the 25-year-old student missed out on the following day’s semi-finals by one place, per reports.
The 22-year-old transgender swimmer, Lia Thomas, won the event. Thomas is the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA top-tier title in the winning time of 4:33.24.
Per reports, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer had been causing ongoing controversy in recent weeks after breaking a number of college records and last week becoming the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA top tier title with victory in the 500-yard freestyle.
Many criticized the transgender swimmer for robbing them of their rightful place in woman’s swimming berths.
A fifth-year senior expressed her frustration at the NCAA’s controversial decision to let someone who is not a biological female compete:
“This is my last college meet ever and I feel frustrated. I know you could say I had the opportunity to swim faster and make the top 16, but this situation makes it a bit different and I can’t help but be angry or sad.
It hurts me, my team and other women in the pool. One spot was taken away from the girl who got ninth in the 500 free and didn’t make it back to the A final preventing her from being an All-American. Every event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.
I am convinced that she is no different than me or any other D1 swimmer who has woken up at 5am her entire life for morning practice. She has sacrificed family vacations and holidays for a competition.
She has pushed herself to the limit to be the best athlete she could be. She is doing what she is passionate about and deserves that right. On the other hand, I would like to critique the NCAA rules that allow her to compete against us, who are biologically women. Thursday was not a specific athlete’s fault,’ she said. ‘It is the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting athletes.”
Another Virginia Tech swimmer reportedly said:
“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 away from other women. It’s heartbreaking to see someone who went through puberty as a male and has the body of a male be able to absolutely blow away the competition, and you go away with the mindset that you don’t have a chance. It’s hard to compete against someone with the aerobic capacity, the muscle development, the body of a man.”
The 22-year-old transgender swimmer has reportedly dominated US women’s college swimming as a student athlete at the University of Pennsylvania. A few years ago Thomas had competed as a male, per reports.
Some people claim that Thomas has an unfair physiological advantage and should be barred from competing. Others say Thomas should be allowed to compete freely as a woman.
Per reports, the 22-year-old transgender swimmer was allowed to compete this season because she had been taking testosterone suppression treatment for more than a year (2.5 years at time of press). Thomas was ruled eligible to compete at this year’s Ivy League championships as eligibility requirements are now left up to individual sports.