After losing a championship qualifying race, which was dominated by University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, a Virginia Tech swimmer slammed the NCAA for its policy that allows transgender women to compete against biological females.
Reka Gyorgy, a swimmer for the University of Florida, was furious after missing the cut on Thursday to compete in the NCAA Championships’ 500 free.
“It doesn’t promote our sport in a good way and I think it is disrespectful against the biologically female swimmers who are competing in the NCAA,” said Gyorgy, adding that he’s now received a lot of heat over it because tennis phenom Thomas has shattered records in her first season competing at the collegiate level as a transgender woman.
Gyorgy took responsibility for her failure to qualify. The Virginia Tech swimmer claimed that she was robbed of a chance to compete in the final because of Thomas’s presence “because of the NCAA’s decision to let someone who is not a biological female compete.”
Thomas qualified for the national women’s 500 free final, where she finished with a 4:33.82 in the preliminaries and won with a time of 4:33.24 in the finals.
The letter from Gyorgy requested the NCAA to modify its policy.
“I’d like to point out that I respect and fully stand with Lia Thomas; I am convinced that she is no different than me or any other D1 swimmer who has woken up at 5 a.m. her entire life for morning practice,” noted Gyorgy.
“On the other hand, I would like to critique the NCAA rules that allow her to compete against us, who are biologically women.”
Gyorgy has represented Hungary in the Olympics for the past five years, and she has swum for the Hokies since 2015.
“I know you could say I had the opportunity to swim faster and make the top 16, but this situation makes it a bit different and I can’t help but be angry or sad. It hurts me, my team and other women in the pool,” said Gyorgy.
“One spot was taken away from the girl who got 9th in the 500 free and didn’t make it back to the A final preventing her from being an All-American. Every event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.”
“Knew what was coming this past week,” the two-time NACC champion and two-time All-American swimmer declared. The coverage surrounding the non-issue sparked by the organization has been condemned.
“It is the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting their athletes. I ask the NCAA to take time to think about all the other biological women in swimming, try to think how they would feel if they would be in our shoes. Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future in swimming,” concluded Gyorgy.
The NCAA did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Thomas has attracted controversy, with numerous organizations and athletes doubting the fairness of a male-born swimmer competing against women.
Earlier this season, the NCAA passed new rules regarding transgender athletes, leaving eligibility at the discretion of individual sports.