by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
At the end of The Incredibles, Dash — a superhero kid with superhuman speed — partakes in his middle-school track race. “Make it close!” his dad, a plainclothes Mr. Incredible, yells as Dash shoots past his non-super peers. “Go for second!” adds Mrs. Incredible. While the other competitors catch their breath after crossing the finish line, Dash, who has barely broken a sweat, gives his parents a thumbs-up. If only the University of Pennsylvania swimming coach had deployed the same strategy when allowing a transgender-identifying male athlete to dominate the women’s team.
Between 2016 and 2019, Will Thomas was an average swimmer for the men’s swimming division. But after adopting a female name (Lia) and identity, Thomas has been smashing records at every turn. Now, Thomas is supposedly the No. 1 female swimmer in the nation, with the fastest 500-yard female freestyle in the country and the all-time record for the Penn women’s team. …
… The explanation for such staggering victories is neither talent nor superpowers — merely biology. Since Thomas is biologically male, and since Thomas underwent male puberty with all the androgenizing benefits that this conferred, he is larger, faster, and stronger than most female athletes.
Just ask Thomas’s female teammates. Despite being “strongly advised” to stay silent, two teammates have anonymously spoken out to the sports website OutKick. “Pretty much everyone individually has spoken to our coaches about not liking this. Our coach [Mike Schnur] just really likes winning. He’s like most coaches. I think secretly everyone just knows it’s the wrong thing to do,” said one. …
… Another teammate spoke of how soul-crushing it is for the other competitors who know they don’t stand a chance of winning.
“Usually everyone claps, everyone is yelling and cheering when someone wins a race,” she said. “Lia touched the wall, and it was just silent in there. When fellow Penn swimmer Anna Kalandadze finished second, the crowd erupted in applause.”