Caitlyn Jᴇnnᴇr says Lia Thomas is not thᴇ “rightful winnᴇr” aftᴇr NCAA Championship victory

Caitlyn Jenner says Lia Thomas is not the “rightful winner” after NCAA Championship victory

Caitlyn Jenner has gone on record to state her belief that Lia Thomas was not the ‘rightful’ winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championship on March 17, and that runner-up Emma Weyant should have been declared champion instead.

A veritable media storm has raged this week after Thomas – an openly trans athlete – won the 500-yard freestyle event at the NCAA Division 1 national championships.

The University of Pennsylvania swimmer, 22, finished the race in 4:33:24, more than a second-and-a-half before the aforementioned Weyant.

Naturally, Thomas – who publicly came out as a trans woman in 2015 – faced backlash and criticism from various quarters. Even as she stepped onto the podium to collect her medal, she was booed by some sectors of the crowd.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, challenged her victory, labeling second-place Weyant the “rightful winner”.

In a new twist, retired Olympic decathlete Caitlyn Jenner – herself a well-known figure within the trans community – sided with DeSantis, calling it “common sense” that Weyant be regarded as the winner.

“@GovRonDeSantis agreed! She is the rightful winner! @TMZ It’s not transphobic or anti-trans, it’s COMMON SENSE!” Jenner said.

USA Swimming earlier this year proposed a new policy that would force trans women to have recorded low levels of testosterone for 36 consecutive months before being cleared to compete with other women.

At the time the proposal was put forward, Thomas had received just 34 months of hormone treatment, which might have ruled her out from competing altogether.

However, weeks later, the NCAA subcommittee said that no alterations to the policy would be going ahead.

“Implementing additional changes at this time could have unfair and potentially detrimental impacts on schools and student-athletes intending to compete in 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championships,” their statement read.

Following her victory, Thomas told ESPN that she’s doing her best to defy critics and ignore her naysayers.

“I try to ignore it as much as I can, I try to focus on my swimming and what I need to do to get ready for my races and I just try to block out everything else,” Thomas said.

“It means the world to be here, to be with two of my best friend and teammates and be able to compete.”

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