by Natasha Anderson, Daily Mail:
- Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy wrote a letter to the NCAA criticizing its rules that allow UPenn’s transgender athlete Lia Thomas to compete
- Gyorgy argued letting Thomas compete against women was ‘disrespectful’ to biologically-female swimmers
- The fifth-year senior alleged that her spot in the NCAA 500 yard freestyle finals was stolen from her because Thomas was permitted to compete in the division
- She has called on the sports authority to review its policies and ‘open their eyes and change these rules in the future’
- Gyorgy’s letter was made public just days after the National Women’s Law Center was blasted for dismissing critics of Thomas as ‘misogynists’
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A Virginia Tech swimmer bumped out of the NCAA finals by transgender swimmer Lia Thomas claims her spot was stolen and has publicly blasted the collegiate sports authority for letting the controversial athlete compete in the women’s division.
Hungarian-born swimmer Reka Gyorgy penned a letter to the NCAA arguing that although she is convinced Thomas is ‘no difference than me or any other D1 swimmer’ who was striving to be the best in her field, allowing her to compete is ‘disrespectful’ to biologically female swimmers.
She wrote: ‘I swam the 500 free at NCAA’s on March 17th 2022 where I got 17th which means I didn’t make it back to the finals and was first alternative. I’m a 5th year senior, I have been top 16 and top 8 before and I know how much of a privilege it is to make finals at a meet this big.
‘This is my last college meet ever and I feel frustrated. It feels like that final spot was taken away from me because of the NCAA’s decision to let someone who is not a biological female compete. 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 the other women in the pol. 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 all American.
‘Every event that transgender athletes competed in was one spot away from biological females throughout the meet.’
The fifth year senior and former Hungarian Olympian lost her spot in the NCAA finals after placing 17th in the 500-yard freestyle during Thursday’s Division I meet. Gyorgy has since accused the accused the sports authority of prioritizing the media narrative surrounding Thomas’ participation in the sport instead of the needs of the student-athletes
The Hungarian Olympian spoke kindly of Thomas and her efforts, but lashed the NCAA for putting both of them in what she said was an untenable position.
Gyorgy said: ‘She has pushed herself to the limit to be the best athlete she could be. She has sacrificed family vacations and holidays for a competition. She has pushed herself to the limit to be the best athlete she could be,’ Gyorgy, 25, wrote. ‘She is doing what she is passionate about and deserves that right. On the other hand, I would like to critique the NCAA rules that allow her to compete against us, who are biologically women.’
The fifth-year senior and former Hungarian Olympian lost her spot in the NCAA finals after placing 17th in the 500-yard freestyle during Thursday’s Division I meet.
Thomas, competing on behalf of the University of Pennsylvania, finished first in Thursday’s competition, qualifying her to compete in the women’s championships where she finished in eighth place in the 100-yard freestyle race.
Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy (pictured Friday) has publicly blasted the NCAA for allowing transgender UPenn swimmer Lia Thomas to compete in the women’s swimming division. She claims her spot in the finals was stolen by Thomas
Reka Gyorgy penned a letter to the NCAA arguing that although she is convinced Thomas (pictured Thursday) is ‘no difference than me or any other D1 swimmer’ who was striving to be the best in her field, allowing her to compete is ‘disrespectful’ to biologically female swimmers
Gyorgy accused the accused the sports authority of prioritizing the media narrative surrounding Thomas’ participation in the sport instead of the needs of the student-athletes.
‘The NCAA knew what was coming this past week. They knew opinions and minds will de divided and chose to do nothing,’ she slammed.
‘This week has been more about reporters, media and division in our sport than things like two women going under 21 seconds in the 50 freestyle, three women going under 50 seconds in the 100 butterfly and the first woman IN HISTORY to go under 48 seconds in the 100 backstroke.
Gyorgy argued that the outcome of Thursday’s race was ‘not a specific athlete’s fault’ but instead the ‘result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting athletes.’
She called on the sports body to review its policies surrounding transgender athletes and ‘open their eyes and change these rules in the future’.
‘I ask that the NCAA takes 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,’ she said. ‘Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future in swimming.’
Gyorgy added that she thinks the NCAA rules regarding transgender athletes ‘doesn’t promote our support in a good way and I think it is disrespectful against the biologically females swimmers who are competing in the NCAA.’