Search icon


23rd Mar 2022

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas not recognised as winner of race by Florida Governor

Kieran Galpin

Solidarity with Lia Thomas

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas has not been recognised as the rightful winner of a nation swimming title, with the Florida governor instead naming the runner up as the victor.

Last week, Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win the highest US national swimming title. There were global congratulations and the LGBTQ community rallied around Thomas following her victory, despite the onslaught of Transphobic abuse she had received.

However, Republican governor Ron DeSantis has since revoked Thomas’ 500-yard freestyle title.

Criticising the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), he wrote: “The NCAA is basically taking efforts to destroy women’s athletics, they’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition and they’re crowning somebody else the women’s champion and we think that’s wrong.


“They are putting ideology ahead of opportunity for women athletes and I think that there are just some people that are afraid to speak out and say what they are doing, but that is what they are doing.”

World Athletics president Lord Coe also commented on the situation, citing that rules and regulations need to be properly implemented.

“I think that the integrity of women’s sport if we don’t get this right, and actually the future of women’s sport, is very fragile,” Coe said on Monday.

The Florida governor named runner up Emma Weyant, who finished 1.75 seconds behind Thomas as the overall winner – but as it turns out, Thomas came in eighth place in the 100-meter freestyle but surely if all is to be believed, she would’ve again come in first with her “unfair advantage”?

Twitter has been set ablaze with a discussion where one user rightly commented: “btw Lia Thomas ended up placing 8th on Saturday in the 100 meter freestyle, but nobody’s talking about it cuz people only give a fuck when trans women are winning and they can say it’s unfair.”

Labour MP Charlotte Nichols also weighed in on Twitter, where she wrote: “As a former competitive swimmer, indeed, I know full well how much training is required for a title like this and anyone nastily trying to diminish Lia Thomas’s incredible achievement because of lazy transphobia should frankly pipe down.

“Huge congratulations to her.”

Despite slamming the NCAA’s motive, citing that they are “putting ideology ahead of opportunity”,  DeSantis has been criticised for doing the same thing. His continued attack on the LGBTQ+ community has recently peaked during discussions around the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill which essentially means that “sexual orientation or gender identity” are not spoken about to kids aged five and up.

Related links: