Olympic Swimmer Brooke Forde said she would race University of Pennsylvania’s (UPENN) transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in a statement read on the College Football Enquirer Podcast Tuesday.
The comments come at 28:55 in the podcast.
“I believe that treating people with respect and dignity is more important than any trophy or record will ever be, which is why I will not have a problem racing against Lia at NCAAs this year,” Forde said in a statement read by Pat Forde, a sportswriter and the Olympic swimmer’s father, on a Tuesday episode of the College Football Enquirer Podcast. “I have great respect for Lia. Social change is always a slow and difficult process and we rarely get it correct right away.”
“Being among the first to lead such a social change requires an enormous amount of courage, and I admire Lia for her leadership that will undoubtedly benefit many trans athletes in the future,” Forde added. (RELATED: Female Swimmer Says She And Her Teammates Are Uncomfortable Sharing Locker Room With Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas: REPORT)
Forde, a graduate student at Stanford University, has been eligible for the NCAA for five years, according to SwimSwam . The Olympic swimmer is set to compete in the NCAA championship in March, possibly against Thomas, depending on if upcoming changes to NCAA policy will allow the transgender athlete to compete.
Forde won the 2019 national championship in the 500 free for Stanford and has been competing since 2018, according to SwimSwam. She is ranked third overall in the 500 free, behind UPENN’s Thomas and Arizona State’s Emma Nordin.
Forde also competed in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to Team USA. She earned a silver medal in the 4×200-meter Freestyle Relay.
Thomas is in the middle of a record-shattering first year competing on the women’s team after three years of swimming on the men’s team, the Daily Caller reported. The transgender swimmer’s success lead to the resignation of USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen, who did so to protest the “grossly unfair” advantage Thomas has over the women he is competing against.