After a contentious record breaking, a transgender swimmer, 22, breaks her silence.
After her achievements were criticized by those who believe transwomen shouldn't compete against women, a transgender swimmer has spoken out.
At the Zippy Invitational Event in Akron, Ohio, UPenn trans swimmer Lia Thomas finished 38 seconds ahead of her teammate in the women's 1,650-yard freestyle event.
She also competed in the 500-yard freestyle race, winning by 14 seconds over her opponents.
Her incredible feat nearly broke two world records and shattered two US records, and Thomas has now spoken out against some of the criticism she has received for her achievements, saying that she should be able to compete in the women's division despite being trans.
"I've gone through a lot of muscle and strength loss," she told SwimSwam.
"For as long as I can remember, [swimming] has been a huge part of my life."
"There was a lot of uncertainty about my future in swimming before the transition, and whether or not I'd be able to keep swimming at all, so I'm just thrilled to be able to keep swimming."
"I enjoy competing and seeing how fast I can go; it's an ongoing evolution of where I think I can go based on how my training progresses and evolves."
Thomas had previously competed in the men's division before transitioning to the women's division in 2019. She had been taking hormone blockers up until this point.
She claimed that being born in the wrong body had caused her a lot of 'distress' and had harmed her mental health.
The 22-year-old also stated that her teammates and coaches have been extremely supportive of her transition.
"Since the beginning, the team has been unbelievably supportive, both teammates and coaches... I feel very supported."
Just like any other member of the women's team, she was treated with respect.
The team's head coach, she added, has been supportive of her transition.
Thomas backed the International Olympic Committee's rules, claiming that they got it right with their regulations.
"I think the guidelines they've laid out are excellent, and they do a fantastic job of promoting inclusivity while maintaining competitional integrity," she said.
"Each sport is essentially required to develop eligibility criteria for what constitutes an unfair advantage in that sport."
"Unless they have a proven unfair advantage, everyone is able to compete in the category in which they are most comfortable."