Lia Thomas Addresses Claims That Transgender Athletes Enjoy a 'Competitive Advantage' in Women's Sports


Lia Thomas is addressing claims that transgender athletes enjoy a “competitive advantage” in women’s sports.

ABC News’ Juju Chang noted during an interview with Thomas that aired on Tuesday, “There are some who look at the data and suggest that you’re enjoying a competitive advantage.”

“What do you say to that?” Chang asked.

Thomas responded, “There’s a lot of factors that go into a race and how well you do. And the biggest change for me is that I’m happy.”

“And sophomore year — where I had my best times competing with the men — I was miserable. And so having that be lifted is incredibly relieving and allows me to put my all into training, into racing,” the swimmer continued.

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Thomas went on:

“Trans people don’t transition for athletics. We transition to be happy and authentic and our true selves. Transitioning to get an advantage is not something that ever factors in to our decisions.”

Chang asked, “You didn’t transition to win more medals?”

“No,” Thomas responded.

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Chang noted that 16 of Thomas’ teammates wrote anonymous letters that argued “Thomas posed a threat to women’s sports.”

She also pointed out that the swimmers stated they “absolutely support your right to transition, but they simply think it’s unfair for you to compete against cisgender women.”

“You can’t go halfway and be like, ‘I support trans women and trans people but only to a certain point,'” the swimmer responded.

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Thomas added, “Where if you support trans women as women [who] have met all the NCAA requirements, then I don’t know if you can really say something like that. Trans women are not a threat to women’s sports.”

Thomas sparked controversy earlier this year after winning a 500-yard freestyle event by 1.75 seconds, with Emma Weyant coming in second place. The competition is the first known time a transgender athlete won a national Division I championship.

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