Splashbacks 2021 – Nov.-Dec.: Lia Thomas Controversy Dominates; Kaylee McKeown Was Hurt in Tokyo

Splashbacks 2021 (Nov.-Dec.)

Splashbacks 2021 – Nov.-Dec.: Lia Thomas Controversy Dominates; Kaylee McKeown Was Hurt in Tokyo

If you thought the controversy surrounding transgender swimmer Lia Thomas was going to be a blip on the sport’s radar, you would be incorrect. As Swimming World completes its Splashback series, which highlights the most-read articles of 2021, the Thomas saga dominated the leading pieces from November and December.

Here is a look at the articles that attracted the greatest amount of attention during the final two months of the year.

1. Lia Thomas, Transgender Swimmer from Penn, Swims Fastest Times in Nation; Controversy Raging

lia-thomas, transgender, penn swimmingThis initial article covering Lia Thomas and her participation on the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swim team provided an overview of the situation. The piece provided background information and also highlighted the No. 1-ranked performances produced by Thomas when racing at the Zippy Invitational in Ohio.

2. Olympic Champion, Women’s Sports Advocate Nancy Hogshead-Makar Details Issues With Lia Thomas Situation

In a guest editorial from 1984 Olympic champion and women’s sports advocate Nancy Hogshead-Makar, the author identifies reasons and cites data for why Lia Thomas should not compete against biological women.

3. Allowing Lia Thomas to Compete At NCAA Championships Would Establish Unfair Setting

This first column addressing the Lia Thomas scenario focuses on the unfair setting in which women swimmers would compete at the NCAA Championships if Thomas is allowed to compete by the governing body of collegiate sports.

4. Penn Swimming Parents Write Letter to NCAA Against Lia Thomas’ Participation in Women’s Events

Concerned about their daughters facing an unfair playing field against Thomas, parents of University of Pennsylvania women’s swimmers reached out to the NCAA to express their feelings. The NCAA did not respond to the letter and has remained quiet on the topic.

5. Without NCAA Action, the Effects of Lia Thomas Situation Are Akin to Doping

In this column discussing the Thomas story, the effects of her male-puberty advantage and years of testosterone production are compared to the effects of the doping programs instituted by East Germany from the 1970s into the 1980s.

6. USA Swimming Official Resigns in Protest Over Lia Thomas Situation

In protest over Thomas competing in women’s swimming, lontime USA Swimming official Cynthia Millen announced she was resigning from her position in protest. Millen stated she would not allow Thomas to compete at a meet she officiated.

7. The Protection of Women’s Sports (Now and Future) At the Heart Of Lia Thomas Situation

In this column, the Thomas controversy is examined from a standpoint that takes into account the greater good of women’s sports. The piece asks why biological females should accept competing against an athlete with unfair advantages from a physiological standpoint.

8. Aussie Olympic Golden Girl Kaylee McKeown Makes Stunning Revelation: ‘I Swam Through Tokyo With A Torn Shoulder’

Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Kaylee McKeown (AUS) after winning the women's 100m backstroke final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

Several months after she captured gold in both backstroke events at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Aussie Kaylee McKeown revealed that she competed with a torn shoulder. The article also reports on McKeown’s decision to train under Mick Palfrey.

9. Penn Parents Express Further Concerns Over Lia Thomas Competing On Women’s Team

In a letter to Swimming World, parents of University of Pennsylvania women’s swimmers detailed specific concerns with Thomas’ presence on the team. Among the cited concerns were reduced relay opportunities for biological females, along with a roster cap for the Ivy League Championships.

10. Ilya Shymanovich Breaststroke is Unconventional But Legal

A breaststroke star from Belarus, Ilya Shymanovich had come under criticism for employing an illegal stroke on the way to several short-course records. However, an analysis of his stroke showed it may be unique, but is within the rules.

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4 months ago

Not a single article or statement in support of Ms. Thomas competing as the person and swimmer she is. The journalistic silence is deafening. And telling.

K Coyne
4 months ago
Reply to  SETH

She’s not a woman. Stop ruining women’s sports! What is wrong with you?

Jeff Lenderman
3 months ago
Reply to  SETH

You’re not seeing support because your view is shared by very few people. No one in their right mind should think this is fair and it does not make me homophobic for having that viewpoint. The spirit of fair competition is against you.

arthur keeler
4 months ago

check out images

arthur keeler
4 months ago

Jethrine Bodin from the Beverly Hillbillies, check out images of Jethrine Bodin. She looks so much like this Thomas dude.

2 months ago
Reply to  arthur keeler

I think I’d rather go out with Jethrine..!