Splashbacks 2021-March-April: Transgender Issue First Discussed; Ian Thorpe Analyzes 200 Freestyle

Splashbacks 2021 (March-April)

Splashbacks 2021-March-April: Transgender Issue First Discussed; Ian Thorpe Analyzes 200 Freestyle

As Swimming World continues its look back at 2021, one of the most popular features for the timeframe of March and April was published by intern Lucas Draper and examined being a transgender athlete in the sport of swimming. That feature remains prominent amid the recent debate regarding Lia Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania transgender athlete who is excelling for the Quakers and whose potential appearance at the NCAA Championships has sparked discussion over the fairness of racing against biological females.

Here is a glance at the most read stories on the Swimming World website for March and April.

1. Being a Transgender Athlete in the Swimming World

Nine months before Lia Thomas’ name became familiar in the swimming world, this article looked at the requirements of the NCAA for transgender athletes to compete on the collegiate stage. The article reviewed hormone requirements and swimsuit regulations, among other points.

2. Aimee Willmott Uses Her Platform To Talk Periods, Puberty And Performance


Aimee Willmott: Photo Courtesy: Swim England

On International Women’s Day, European Correspondent Liz Byrnes featured Great Britain’s Aimee Willmott, a longtime international standout in the 400 individual medley. The article focused on issues specific to female athletes, with Willmott discussing topics such as periods and puberty.

3. Ian Thorpe: Everyone in the World is Swimming the 200 Freestyle Wrong

While making an appearance on the Inside with Brett Hawke Podcast, Australian Olympic champion and icon Ian Thorpe expressed his beliefs that competitors in the 200 freestyle were not attacking the race. Thorpe called for individuals in the event to press the pace with more intensity and be willing to fight through the pain endured in the final strokes.

4. What Makes the Perfect Swimmer’s Body?

This article, which Swimming World has reprinted on several occasions, takes a look at the attributes that are most beneficial. The analysis discusses aspects such as center of mass, height and flexibility, and how these traits help swimmers in the water.

5. Strong Women Are Beautiful Women: Growing Up in a Swimmer’s Body

This feature is a celebration of the female body and the work athletes put into the sport. The article not only pays tribute to women in the sport, but also examines the difficulties that some swimmers have as women with more pronounced muscles.

6. A Reminder of the 2020-21 Olympic Trials Qualifying Times

venue-Olympic Trials Omaha

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

As the delayed Olympic Trials crept closer, Swimming World published the qualifying standards for each of the events on the men’s and women’s sides. Publishing these qualifying marks offered readers the chance to recognize how fast swimmers must be to compete at the United States’ top meet.

7. 5 Outside-the-Pool Activities For Faster Swimming

Swimming World intern Peter Martin provided an analysis of five ways that swimmers can enhance their times while out of the water. Martin discusses the advantages found in running and taking part in core work to strengthen a swimmer’s hull.

8. Netflix Starts Production on ‘The Swimmers’ – Rare On-Screen Look at the Sport

It isn’t often that a swimming show is produced, so when word came out that Netflix was preparing to tell the story of two Syrian refugees who were swimmers, readers took note. The Netflix project will tell the story of the Mardini sisters, who fled the Syrian Civil War in 2015.

9. Ryan Lochte Tops Caeleb Dressel in 200 IM at ISCA Senior Cup


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

During tuneup competition for the United States Olympic Trials, a victory by Ryan Lochte over Caeleb Dressel at the ISCA Cup was big news and had people talking about Lochte qualifying for a fifth Olympic Games. Ultimately, that pursuit by Lochte came up short at Trials.

10. What Would It Mean If Ryan Lochte Made Another Olympic Team

With Ryan Lochte looking solid during his early-season preparation for the Olympic Trials, David Rieder put together a column on the positives and minuses of Lochte qualifying for the 2020 Games in Tokyo. Rieder discussed points such as experience and if Lochte’s presence meant a shortcoming of rising talent in the American ranks.