Reka Gyorgy Writes Critical Letter to NCAA On Transgender Rules

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Photo Courtesy: Luke Jamroz Photography

As the 2022 NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championships have come to a close, more athletes are sharing their opinions on the Lia Thomas situation.  Reka Gyorgy of Virginia Tech was directly affected by Thomas participating as she finished 17th in the 500 freestyle and was one spot out of making the consolation final in an event that Thomas won.

Gyorgy wrote an open letter saying she stands with Lia Thomas but blamed the NCAA for the way the institution handled the entire situation, including the rules. She made her wish clear at the beginning of the letter that she wants her full statement released and not parts of it, so here it is in full:

Before you read any further, I’d like to ask that everyone who wants to disseminate my statement would agree to release my statement in full. I do not want any partial releases of my statement and do not with to make further comments.

Dear NCAA,

I would like to address this past week’s events and express my thoughts. First, I would like to remind everyone that I am a human being and that as a human being I experience feelings and emotions.

My name is Reka Gyorgy from Hungary. I am a 2016 Rio Olympian, represented Virginia Tech for the past 5 years, a 2 time ACC Champion, 2 time All-American and 3 time Honorable Mention All-American.

With all due respect, I would like to address something that is a problem in our sport right now and hurting athletes, especially female swimmers. Everyone has heard and known about transgender, Lia Thomas, and her case including all the issues and concerns that her situation brought to our sport. I’d like to point out that I respect and fully stand with Lia Thomas; I am convinced that she is no different than me or any other D1 swimmer who as woken up at 5am her entire life for morning practice. 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. 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.

I’m writing this letter right now in hopes that the NCAA will open their eyes and change these rules in the future. It doesn’t promote our sport in a good way and I think it is disrespectful against the biologically female swimmer who are competing in the NCAA.

I swam the 500 freestyle at NCAA’s on March 17th, 2022 where I got 17th which means I did not make it back to the finals and was first alternate. 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 be 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 make it a bit different and I can’t help but be angry or sad. It hurts me, my team and other women in the pool. 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 an All-American. Every event that transgender athlete competed in was one spot taken away from biological females throughout the meet.

The NCAA knew what was coming this past week. They knew opinions and minds will be divided and chose to do nothing. 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, 3 women going under 50 seconds in the 100 butterfly and the first women IN HISTORY to go under 49 seconds in the 100 backstroke. Thursday was not a specific athlete’s fault. I tis the result of the NCAA and their lack of interest in protecting their athletes. 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. Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future in swimming.

Thank you for reading,
Reka Gyorgy, Virginia Tech swimmer

54 Comments
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Seth Huston
3 months ago

Thank you Reka for so eloquently sharing your experience and how you feel. Like so many have said, this isn’t so much about Lia. Most people, including, in this case Lia’s competitors applaud being your authentic self.

This is about the NCAA and quite honestly the Ivy League choosing a cultural and social issue of transgender inclusion over competitive fairness for biological women. They have gone so progressive that they have become regressive to the detriment of biological women athletes.

Many believe the NCAA Championship spectacle will correct this injustice for biological women athletes. Don’t count on it. More people, women athletes included, need to step up and express their opinions.

On the pool deck at NCAA’s there was a lot of frustrated coaches and athletes with the NCAA for allowing this invasion of Women’s Swimming.

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Ted
3 months ago

Congratulations Reka on standing up and saying what needs to be said. You are a courageous young lady. I admire you as an athlete but also an advocate for fairness in woman’s sports today. By the way Reka your 400 IM was amazing. You are a true champion in my eyes!

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Eileen Herbert
3 months ago

Once the door has been opened as in Lia Thomas , it becomes impossible to close.

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washeduphasbeen
3 months ago

Lol. “Critical”. Y’all are finally picking up the TERF, ahem, “gender critical,” language.

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Joe
3 months ago

And proud of it. I’d rather be a “terf” than pathetically roll over and congratulate selfish men for stealing my and other women’s opportunities for woke brownie points. I know you think you’re doing something there by saying TERF because you decided it’s offensive but there’s actually nothing offensive or radical about standing up for women and acknowledging reality. Transwomen aren’t the same and in many situations they absolutely should be excluded. Get over it. If asking for an even playing field is hate speech then expect plenty more of it.

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Mikey
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Well said!

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Janis
3 months ago

There should be a transgender division – I mean the fact he towered above the females is an unfair advantage alone – also in the men’s division he was placed around 462 and “wham” as a female he’s 1st. 🧐☹️

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Ollie
3 months ago
Reply to  Janis

He would be tooo afraid to compete foe fear of losing

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Alex
3 months ago
Reply to  Janis

She**

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Jamie
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Thank you for the correction. People like Janis need to remember you can disagree with a decision but you should still respect a human being.

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Barbara
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

Respect does not require others to affirm a delusion. Do you also believe teachers should be banned from teaching evolution given that the theory directly undermines the beliefs of Christians? Or do you recognize that respecting reality is important for a functioning, civilized, society?

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David
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

I will not deny basic reality and biology to spare someone’s feelings. Doing so does no good for anyone, least of all the people who incorrectly believe they are a member of the opposite sex.

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Barbara
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex

No. HE. Unless you’re willing to deny evolution in order to affirm a Christian’s faith-based identity, don’t go around denying biology in order to affirm a man’s (Lia’s) faith-based identity.

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Nick
3 months ago
Reply to  Janis

While Lia towered over some of the competition, it was very noticeable that there were other competitors with similar heights and builds. The shoulders on the likes of Kate Douglas are enviable.
Also I’m the men’s division Lia was approx 10sec behind the National record in the 500, then in the women’s she was also approx 10sec behind the National record.

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Barbara
3 months ago
Reply to  Nick

“While Lia towered over some of the competition, it was very noticeable that there were other competitors with similar heights and builds. The shoulders on the likes of Kate Douglas are enviable.”

Your observation is disingenuous. Men and women are different from each other due to a combination of physical attributes, not just a single attribute. There was only one person (Lia) who had a combination of height, broad shoulders, greater lung capacity, and other attributes that give MEN an advantage over women in sports. That person was Lia, the only man competing in the division. The idea that Katie Douglas’ shoulders make her akin to a man is absurd.

“Also I’m the men’s division Lia was approx 10sec behind the National record in the 500, then in the women’s she was also approx 10sec behind the National record.”

You omitted the fact that Lia was able to achieve his performance in the women’s division despite skipping a year of competition. Meanwhile, his performance in the men’s division occurred during a lifelong career of uninterrupted competing. Which means his advantage of women swimmers is so significant that he’s a threat to breaking women’s records even when he takes long breaks, while he has no chance at men’s records unless he consistently competes.

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Barbara
3 months ago
Reply to  Nick

Also I’m the men’s division Lia was approx 10sec behind the National record in the 500, then in the women’s she was also approx 10sec behind the National record.”

One final point. In addition to the flaws I already highlighted, you also display ignorance about the sport when you imply 10 seconds means the same thing in the men’s 500 and the women’s 500. There are sex differences in the distribution of performances in the men’s division vs. the women’s division.

Being ~10 seconds under the national record in the men’s division = Lia was the 462nd fastest man in college during the 2018-2019 season. In other words, plenty of men are able to achieve a time ~10 seconds slower than the fastest man.

Now, his current performance as a “woman” has him ranked the 16th fastest woman of all time. Because very few women can achieve a time 10 seconds slower than the fastest woman. Which means Lia is a low-level male athlete who’s now receiving awards as if he’s an elite female. Which is exactly what all of us in this thread oppose. Blatant unfairness. He couldn’t win in the men’s division, so he shouldn’t be rewarded in the women’s division. He should be sent back to the men’s division to compete against his fellow men.

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Barbara
3 months ago

Good. The dam is breaking and the backlash is growing. The trans movement’s success depends on people being too scared to speak out about the unfairness. Scaring people into silence is how the movement avoids having to respond to valid arguments about the incoherence of trans ideology. I applaud Ms. Gyorgy for pointing out that (metaphorically speaking) the emperor has no clothes. Ideally, more state legislatures listen to Ms. Gyorgy and ban men from women’s sports. If state governments threaten to cut the funding from public universities that allow men like Lia to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA will have little choice and be forced to accept the reality of biology.

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Darrin
3 months ago

You are a true inspiration, a young women willing to stand on what is right and her beliefs. The NCAA should be ashamed, I bet things would be much different if any of the young ladies bumped from their final would have been their daughter!

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Blahblah
3 months ago

Where did Seth Huston’s comment go? It was so beautiful and relevant

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Revoltiao
3 months ago

A woman? ADN male, Win easy, no Just for the women

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Marlene Abel
3 months ago

It is not right that Transgenders be able to participate in any women’s sports! To change your gender because you couldn’t excel in men’s sports so you change your gender so you can excel in women’s and take awake from the women! This is so wrong. If transgenders want to change because the want to be the opposite of their birth gender that is their choice but the taxpayers should not have to pay for it and they should not be able to participate in any women’s sports!

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Heather
3 months ago

Congratulations. Thanks from me, my sisters mother,aunties and daughters. Men can make space for trans in their swimming competitions. It is a mad situation and so unfair

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Laura
3 months ago

Shame on NCAA… Lia Thomas is a biological MALE and has no business competing with females. Sad to see the the powers that be can’t make a new category to support all swimmers.

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sygrandedame@aol.com
3 months ago
Reply to  Laura

no xy ever

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Brian
3 months ago

It’s only a matter of time now. Soon there will 2 Lias in the pool and then 3 and then 4. Since inclusion in the finals depends on performance it won’t be long until all finalists will be transgendered women.
What then for “womens” sport?
Thank you for your letter. All women should be contributing to this outrage.

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Lex
3 months ago

Biological men have no right to compete in biological women’s sports. People have the right to live any lifestyle they wish in my opinion but there’s a line that should never be crossed in competitions like this. This is a serious issue and needs to be addressed immediately. Eventually TG’s will dominate women’s sports and no biological women will even compete. Reka Gyorgy is a brave woman who voices the opinion of MANY.She was cheated like many others and it’s wrong!

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Wanted to Compete
3 months ago

I’m glad this swimmer spoke up for herself. Yes, a lot of the blame for allowing Thomas to compete should fall on the NCAA but there is plenty to go around: the Ivy League, Penn administrators and coaching staff (all predominantly male). But, the one with the most responsibility for the circus also had the power to create a fair competition even at the last second before the start. Thomas selfishly chose to swim and took her spot and others.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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sygrandedame@aol.com
3 months ago

NO XY EVER PERIOD FULL STOP SHAME FULL COMMITTEE NCAA! FOLLOW THE SCIENCE.

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Jo
3 months ago

Well said Reka, and I’m sorry that you were not able to swim in finals. The NCAA has no idea the impact and emotions all the women, moms, athletes and parents experienced at the Championships meet of 2022. They were cowards and need to come up with a solution so that no more women will have to endure losing a chance to compete at the Women’s Championship Meet or any meet at any level. Save Women Sports.

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meed18
3 months ago

Can you say where you got the letter? A twitter account claiming to be Reka has been suspended, possibly because it was an imposter. I’m trying to figure out where this letter actually originated to be sure it really came from Reka.

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Adam
3 months ago
Reply to  meed18

I can confirm that Reka original account on twitter was suspended as I followed her before all this hoopla broke out. Yay for freedom of speech twitter

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vincep
3 months ago
Reply to  Adam

Welcome to the new McCarthyism where a person is silenced arbitrarily simply because her point of view was unacceptable to our Tech and ‘woke’ censors.

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River MacGregor
3 months ago

So let me get this straight. Lia finished 16th, with another 15 trans women ahead of her? Or did she just manage to grab the last spot behind 15 cis women? I get that Reka is disappointed but I fail to see how Lia was so much stronger than all the other cis women if she just managed to grab the 16th spot. Reka knows she blew it but needs someone else to blame for her failure.

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Gemma
3 months ago

Pretty certain Lia won…. which meant she missed the 16th spot. Read the letter correctly.

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Notaswimmer
3 months ago

Let me get it straight for you. Lia came in first. If she hadn’t competed, everyone would have placed one rank higher. The second-place swimmer would have been first, third would have been second . . . seventeenth would have been sixteenth. This is really an injustice to women.

Last edited 3 months ago by Notaswimmer
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Holly
3 months ago

I’m sure you can read, right?

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Carol Robertson
3 months ago

This is ABSURD! How long did females fight for Title 9?? Allowing male athletes to switch teams when they “feel it” is not only an infringement on the rights of female athletes but an aggressive attack on female athletes! Is anyone surprised that a 6’1 male, 215 pounds might be faster than a 5″5 woman who weighs 125 pounds?Women make up 51% of the population and we PAY taxes! How can Title 9 be so ignored? Any one can change their sex. Why can they compete on the women’s team?? NOT FAIR!!!

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Holly
3 months ago

When you allowed TG and LGBT movement this is what you get. Congrats America

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grep
3 months ago
Reply to  Holly

There are many movements, that is not the problem. The question is why didn’t the NCAA etc. say OK fine, we will think about it, but until we have 100% proof that a man to woman transition does NOT mean that they have advantage, they stay with the men’s division. Or just simply tell them to f.. off as men will not be in women’s sport.
(And they can’t prove it, because as soon as one of them is too good then this will always come up.)
I honestly want to know how this ruling came to be, because it is pure insanity.
They should have kept them with the men or made a new group (which would have had 0 funding because nobody cares).

The thing is that as soon as a man wants to transition, he has to understand that there will be things that he will never be able to do: menstruate, give birth, and so on.
And competitive sports or any sports or anything where their possible physical strength can put women in a disadvantage.
The end.

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Tyger
3 months ago

Only people who get mad at the term terf are terfs. People in this comment section go out of their way to dead name Lia and call her a man than back track and say “oh no its the NCAA that we are mad at” while calling Lia every name in the book. True colors shine through.

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Kevin Harris
3 months ago

Beautifully written

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GoRekaGo
3 months ago

Her Twitter account was suspended this afternoon for posting this.

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Notaswimmer
3 months ago
Reply to  GoRekaGo

Twitter hates the truth.

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Barbara
3 months ago
Reply to  GoRekaGo

Unsurprising. Twitter is a sanctuary for men trying to normalize their entry into women’s spaces.

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RefRick
3 months ago

What kind of twisted logic it is for people to applaud a man winning a women’s event, bludgeoning the women competitors that protest, and force them to share a locker room with said anatomically correct man.

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Erin
3 months ago

I agree with the work ethic and everything that comes with training for a sport but this is not even close to being fair . I played for my nation on a womens team that struggled to get recognition and now you are telling me that it meant nothing.

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Joe Blow
3 months ago

These male interlopers cannot go unchecked. Schools have billions in endowments, NCAA prints money. How disappointing it is to have people making such terrible decisions taking home a huge salary. Jennifer Alger should be ashamed. Rather than standing up for her fellow female athletes she tacitly let this happen. Make a new category and record bracket for trans athletes. Construct new locker rooms with your exorbitant budgets fueled by all of our tuition dollars. Act because it’s unequal not inaction because it feels good and make you “woke”. He is a 400+ ranked men’s swimmer picking on that which he claims to be. It’s absolutely revolting.

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Jamie
3 months ago

Why did she compete? What if she had of won would she be so bothered by Lia then?

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Adam
3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

She didn’t compete. Did you read the article? She was refused the last spot as it went to transitioning man->woman who then progressed to win over weaker (naturally born) women.

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Stephen Keszey
3 months ago

Sadly, I must say you standing-up for your rights as a woman needs to be applauded! It shouldn’t need to be, because it is simply common sense, but the current environment demands it be applauded! Common sense no longer exists! Shame on you NCAA… Title 9 is meaningless as you have bastardized it!

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Tim
3 months ago

Correct me if I’m wrong because I am not familiar with all of the NCAA rules and regulations, but it is theoretically possible for the entire field of NCAA female swimmers to be transgender females some day. Unlikely perhaps, but possible. How would that re-frame the argument? How does that make you feel?

P.S. I’d like to see more commenters remove insults, judgement and accusation from their message. They do nothing to help the argument.

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1h8t3hk1k3s
3 months ago

As if NCAA types are there to protect swimmers and not to control them and the narrative they spread.

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Gina
3 months ago

Reka Gyorgy is right on point. I have gay and bisexual family members and know a few transgenders. I love and respect them all!!! But someone born biologically male should not be allowed to compete in female competitions… No matter how low their testosterone is. It’s just not right.

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Zach
2 months ago

I personally want to know where this is going. What has to happen for us to realize that THIS can’t continue?? What MORE has to happen? Apparently men winning first place trophies over talented women isn’t enough. So what is? An entire podium of men? Will that be enough?