A Virginia Tech swimmer got candid with a reporter about the impact transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is having on the mental health and spirit of female swimmers in an interview shared Friday.
“It’s a common conception that we are all very disappointed and frustrated with someone who has capabilities more than us women have, to be able to compete at this level and take opportunities away from other women,” the Virginia Tech swimmer told reporters today when asked about Lia Thomas swimming in the NCAA Championship.
Virginia Tech swimmer competing in this year’s NCAA championship details how her teammate was brought to tears after her place in the finals was taken by Lia Thomas: pic.twitter.com/mow56mVp1W
— Sav (@RapidFire_Pod) March 17, 2022
“I have a teammate who did not make finals today because she was just bumped out,” the swimmer continued. “It’s heartbreaking to see someone who went through puberty as a male, and has the body of a male, be able to absolutely blow away the competition.” (RELATED: Transgender Swimmer Sparks Heated Argument At NCAA Championship)
“You go into it with a mindset that you don’t have a chance, if that makes sense? It’s hard to compete against someone with the aerobic capacity, the muscle development, the body of a man. It’s hard. It’s hard to think about it like that,” the swimmer said. “Staying positive, I bet for other swimmers who are in that heat is probably overwhelming. I’m not sure. I can’t speak for them, but it’s disappointing to see, and frustrating, definitely.”
The reporter then asked about one of the swimmer’s teammates who was reportedly crying because she placed 17th in a 16-spot race, with one of the positions going to Thomas. The swimmer said it was tough to watch as this was her teammate’s last opportunity to compete in the NCAA Championship.
“It’s hard to see someone who works every day, every night still not be able to compete against someone like that,” the swimmer said in reference to Thomas. Parents of swimmers, former Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, and former Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner have openly expressed their concerns about the threat transgender athletes pose to fairness in women’s sports.