Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania whose participation on the women’s team sparked national headlines this season, finished last place in the 100-yard freestyle final at the NCAA women’s swimming championships in Georgia on Saturday night.
Thomas has been dubbed “the face of the debate on transgender women in sports” amid Thomas’ dominance in women’s swimming. However, for one sports legend, Thomas’ success deserves an asterisk next to her accomplishments.
Former tennis superstar Martina Navratilova suggested that the NCAA put an asterisk next to Thomas’ records but made sure to note she is not against transgender women ever winning anything.
“But right now, the rules are what they are. Maybe put an asterisk there, if she starts breaking records left and right,” Navratilova said, via the New York Post.
Navratilova suggested that the NCAA create an “open” category of athletes who identify as women but cannot compete against cisgender women.
Just this month alone, Thomas became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship. She then won the women’s 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:33.24.
Expect to see more of Thomas as the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris is two years away and Thomas is expected to participate in the qualifying.