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Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas shares story with Sports Illustrated 

Lia Thomas has been the subject of an extensive amount of media coverage as her athletic accomplishments ignited a heated debate over the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports. 

Thomas has remained tight-lipped on the issue, but did speak out recently during an interview with Sports Illustrated. Thomas said she wants to show other transgender athletes that “they’re not alone” and “don’t have to choose between who they are the sport they love.”

“I’m not a man. I’m a woman, so I belong on the women’s team. Trans people deserve that same respect every other athlete gets,” Thomas told the magazine, which detailed how trust amongst the team’s 37 swimmers has unraveled in the wake of infighting about her being on the women’s squad.

According to Sports Illustrated, six to eight teammates at Penn have backed Thomas and her position on the team, while half of its members are against her taking part in women’s competitions.

“I don’t know exactly what the future of my swimming will look like after this year, but I would love to continue doing it,” Thomas says. “I want to swim and compete as who I am.”

Thomas will compete in the NCAA Championships this month after NCAA solidified her eligibility in February when it said it would not adopt USA Swimming’s new rules for trans athletes.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: BUSINESS INSIDER

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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