Lisa Thomas, 22, a transgender swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania, has topped the women's records when she competed as a woman instead of a man in the team. For the last three years, Lisa Thomas took part in the swimming competition as a man under the name Will Thomas. Her victory has enraged controversies in the transgender athletes' circles.
Lisa's triumph in the latest events has contemplated doubts in some people's minds and made them think about the probability of the Olympic superstar Katie Ledecky conquering gold against the transgender swimmer. On November 20, Lisa took part in the tri-meet with Cornell and Princeton universities, where she vanquished other players in both events and smashed the University of Pennsylvania records.
In the first event, she earned the number one spot in the 200m freestyle and registered the number two spot in the 500m freestyle in the following event. The athlete has finished the former in 1:43:47 time, and the latter in 4:35:06 time, which, according to the NCAA Women's Championship, would have earned silver and bronze, respectively.
Before taking a break amid the coronavirus outbreak, the champion took part in the Penn men's swimming team for three seasons. "Swimming is a huge part of my life and who I am. I've been a swimmer since I was five years old. The process of coming out as being trans and continuing to swim was a lot of uncertainty and unknown around an area that's usually really solid. Realizing I was trans threw that into question. Was I going to keep swimming? What did that look like?" said Lisa Thomas in an interview with Penn Today.
However, the inconclusive avow of Lisa's transition from man to woman, followed by her participation in the women's event, has generated heat and controversies. Some even claimed that it was "unfair" and declined to accept her as a woman. According to the NCAA, trans female athletes can freely partake in women's events after one year of testosterone suppression treatment.
"A trans female treated with testosterone suppression medication may continue to compete on a men's team but may not compete on a women's team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment", stated the NCAA policy.
Lisa, a co-chair of a club called Penn Non-Sis, spoke her heart out on the ongoing war of words about transgender athletes taking part in women's events, where she said, "One of my big concerns for trans people is feeling alone," she says. "Even if you don't pay attention to the news ... [about] states proposing and passing vicious anti-trans legislation, it can feel very lonely and overwhelming." She further added, "Being trans has not affected my ability to do this sport and being able to continue is very rewarding."