WATCH: Georgia Tech athletes sound off on Lia Thomas controversy

Female athletes say it's 'intimidating,' 'disheartening' to compete against men.


Campus Reform Reporter Alexa Schwerha traveled to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) ahead of the NCAA Division I Women's Swimming Championship, where transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is causing controversy with his dominance over female athletes.

Thomas, who is biologically male, competed for the University of Pennsylvania on the men's team for three years before making the switch to the women's team. 

For students at Georgia Tech, Thomas' participation in the women's league is divisive.

Students who disagreed with his participation told Campus Reform that biological advantages make it an unfair playing field for his competition.

"I'm an athlete, I like sports. Seeing a guy participate in women's sports obviously isn't fair," one student said. "I don't like seeing it, obviously he's dominated the scene for a while and it's just a little disappointing."

Students, additionally, offered solutions that the NCAA could take to remain inclusive, but without infringing on female athletes, such as creating a separate league.

"As a Division I student-athlete, I would feel like there is an unfair advantage," one female student said. "I think if a transgender athlete wants to compete it should be in a certain division made for them."

But not all students were on board. Students in support of Thomas told Campus Reform that he should be able to complete because he has transitioned to identify as a woman, despite the advantages he may hold in the competition.

"Michael Phelps has enlarged lungs and that gave him an advantage in being able to become the swimmer that he became, and he got that biologically," one student argued. "So does he have some sort of advantage compared to his opponents?"

"At the end of the day, she transitioned to become a woman and she is, just, now a woman and she gets the ability," she continued. 

Thomas will compete in the 200-, 500-, and 100-yard freestyle. The competition is slated to run from Mar. 16-19. 

Watch the full video above.

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