Swimming in nonsense: where are the grown ups in the transgender debate?

Dec 19, 2021 by

by Nicole Lampert, CapX:

When the winner reached the side of the pool there was silence, almost as if the triumph was being determinedly ignored. A whole 48 seconds later – while the champion waited for their rivals to complete almost another two laps of the pool – the second placed swimmer reached the end to loud applause from the crowds.

Something important was happening at the University of Pennsylvania swimming trials; something that has reverberated around the world. Because this swimming competition has become less about strokes through water and more about biology, and the question of whether someone who is born a man then declares himself a woman should be treated as if the sex they were born is irrelevant.

By the time Lia Thomas was filmed beating her nearest rival by almost a minute, she had already hit times in two previous races which were almost as fast as national women’s swimming records – unheard of for a student athlete.

For most people the reason is obvious: Lia, 22, who used to be Will, is wide-shouldered, towers over her teammates and had only managed to reach the men’s B team with better times than she is now achieving as a woman. As demanded by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Lia has been on testosterone suppressants for more than a year; but she is swimming just a few seconds slower than she was as a man.

For Lia’s rivals, the rank injustice of knowing they were swimming for second place was compounded by the fact that they were expressly told not to speak to the media about their feelings. Nevertheless one competitor, anonymously, told an American sports website how furious they were knowing the competition will never be fair.

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