Lia Thomas, a biological male and professional swimmer who now identifies as female at the University of Pennsylvania, broke records after switching to the women’s team.
Thomas competed for three years on the men’s team, with mediocre results, but later transitioned and moved to the women’s team.
Thomas’s top time for the 500 Free events in the male category was 4:18.72. Thomas won the 500 Free while competing against Villanova and participated in eight regular-season events as a male in the 2019-2020 season.
Dailycaller.com reports: While competing on the women’s team, Thomas shattered the 500 Free Ivy League record at 4:35.06, winning the event by almost 13 seconds. Thomas also broke the women’s Ivy League record for the 200 Free and beat the second-place swimmer by over six seconds.
“Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding,” Thomas told Penn Today in June.
Thomas, a leader of the “Penn Non-Cis” club, is 22 and began swimming at the age of five, according to Penn Today.
Males have a physical advantage over females in sports which decreases but is not erased by testosterone suppression, the Sports Councils’ Equality Group (SCEG) found in September. Males who undergo testosterone suppression in adulthood retain natural advantages based on height advantage and bone density.
Sports associations have struggled to balance the inclusion of transgender athletes with fairness for female athletes. Transgender athletes were allowed to compete in the gender division of their choice based on gender identity in the 2020 Olympics, and the International Olympic Committee recommended in November that sports organizations stop requiring male-to-female transitioning athletes to undergo hormone therapy before competing in women’s sports.