The University of Pennsylvania nominates transgender swimmer Lia Thomas for the prestigious Woman of the Year award
Lia Thomas has been nominated by the University of Pennsylvania for the prestigious NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Woman of the Year award.
The University of Pennsylvania has nominated swimmer Lia Thomas for the prestigious NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Woman of the Year award, sparking a national debate about transgender participation in sports.
Thomas, one of 577 nominees and one of more than 240 Division I athletes, was the first transgender woman to win an NCAA Division I Championship title. The Woman of the Year Award, established in 1991, honors the academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership of female college graduate athletes.
Lia Thomas began her career competing on the men's team for the first two seasons. Thomas sat out for a year, which coincided with the cancellation of winter sports due to COVID-19. When athletics resumed in the 2021-2022 season, Thomas began competing with the women's swimming and diving team.
Thomas set multiple records last season, but the nomination has sparked controversy. On the one hand, there are people who praise the nomination, but there are also many who attack the decision.
"This is another slap in the face for women," said Riley Gaines, a champion swimmer who competed against Thomas at the NCAA Championships, who is also nominated for the award.
She added that she felt the NCAA has now invalidated this award.