Legend Olympic swimmer Kate Ziegler’s 500 meter freestyle swim record has been broken this past month. The person who broke this record is somebody you would not expect. Ranked #432 in college men’s swimming, William Thomas swam at the University of Pennsylvania for three years. During the Covid era, at age 19, he began the hormonal transition to become a women. One year later she joined the UPenn women’s swim team.
At her first swim meet, Lia Thomas (formally William Thomas) broke Ziegler’s record by 11.41 seconds, (Zieglers Record: 4:47.78 versus Lia’s Record: 4:36.37; from Swimmingworld.com – a well trusted website with information gathered from the original swim meets). This information is relevant because it highlights how being a former man gives you an unfair advantage in women sports. Even if you do everything there is to become a women, nothing can change the frame and muscles you developed during your past man puberty period. Looking at pictures of Lia Thomas at different women swim meets, one observes that she towers over all the other girls. When comparing Lia to her colleagues, one can see the difference in muscles and back width. In swimming, this attribute is important because it allows the swimmer to go faster. Additionally, “maturation of the airways and lungs continues through childhood and into adolescence during which time, for the most part, males continue to have larger lungs than females.” –quote taken from the National Library of Medicine. Having larger lungs makes it a lot easier to swim fast since you take less breathes during your strokes.
I call upon the olympic and competitive swim committees to ban transgender participants from the male and female competitions. Transgenders, especially male to female transgender athletes, get an unfair competitive advantage through their body frame and muscles. I believe making a sub category for transgender athletes to compete is the right thing to do. Paralympics (the parallel olympics), have been developed for people that have disabilities to compete together. Recently, the paralympics have seen much success in viewership and support. NBC Sports Group states that, “This year’s Paralympic Winter Games, which took place from March 4-13 in Beijing, China, averaged 165,000 TV-only viewers across NBC and USA Network.” Similarly, I envision in the future we could create a competitive arena for transgender swimmers.
People should be free to identify as whom ever they feel they are. However, I will not stand for transgender male converted to female athletes to come into the female arena and basically take over the competition though an unfair body advantage. That is morally wrong and will dissuade some female athletes from getting involved with competitive swimming.