Lia Thomas Finishes Her College Career: Sports World Reacts

Lia Thomas walks out of the pool.

Lia Thomas walks out of the pool.

Lia Thomas’ time as a collegiate swimmer is over.

The transgender Penn swimmer, who competes for the women’s team after undergoing hormone therapy, finished her career at the NCAA Championships this weekend.

Thomas, who has had a controversial 2021-22 season inside of the pool, finished her career with a championship. She won the 500 meter freestyle, though failed to take home the championship in two other events.

“Lia Thomas’ collegiate swimming career ended with an 8th place finish in the 100 free. Yale’s Iszac Henig tied for 5th. And UVA frosh Gretchen Walsh got her first individual championship after finishing runner-up in her other two events,” ESPN’s Katie Barnes tweeted.

Thomas, who began her career competing for the Penn men’s team, became the first transgender athlete to win a Division 1 national championship.

The Penn swimmer took home the title in the 500 meter freestyle race.

Yale junior Iszac Henig, a transgender man, finished in fourth place in the 100 meter freestyle on Saturday. Henig is able to compete in the women’s division because he hasn’t begun hormone therapy.

“There are so many bills in different states right now trying to ban trans women from sport at all different levels,” Henig said. “We’re not allowed to have anything on our clothes, but the rules don’t say anything about our skin. So I took the platform I was hoping to have to say that trans athletes are just like any other athlete. We deserve to be able to play and build community.”

The transgender athlete debate is ongoing, but Thomas certainly put a spotlight on it this season due to her incredible performance.

It will be interesting to see where Thomas’ career goes from here.

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