Penn swimmer William Thomas was nominated to be the NCAA’s Woman of the Year, but those hopes have been dashed since a fencer at Columbia University advanced among the Ivy League Conference representatives.
Sylvie Binder advanced to the next round. She is a senior who won the NCAA Fencing Championship in 2019.
Thomas, who is a biological male but goes by the female name “Lia,” was nominated despite his obvious advantage over biological females.
Riley Gaines, a former Kentucky swimmer, has been speaking out against the fact Thomas was allowed to compete against women as a biological male.
Gaines said her mind was blown when she learned two weeks before the national championships that the NCAA would allow Thomas to compete with females.
Thomas had competed in the men’s division the past three seasons before competing against women.
Gaines said other swimmers were mad and noted the ninth and 17th-place finishers who missed out on being named an All-American because Thomas was allowed to compete.
She also said organizers failed to disclose Thomas would use women’s facilities, which brought “extreme discomfort” to the locker room.
Gaines told Tucker Carlson it wasn’t right they weren’t warned about having to change in a locker room with someone who “has different parts.”
“So not only were we forced to race against a male, we were forced to change in the locker room with one,” she said. “And so then we’re sitting there not even knowing who to talk to, who to complain to, because this kind of all happened behind the scenes and very discreetly.”