To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now

Florida Governor Declares Runner-Up To Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Is The 'Rightful Winner'

| Last updated 

Florida Governor Declares Runner-Up To Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Is The 'Rightful Winner'

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared that transgender NCAA champion Lia Thomas was not the "rightful winner" of the competition and that distinction instead belonged to the runner-up.

Runner-up Emma Weyant, from the University of Virginia, was defeated by Thomas in the competition by 1.75 seconds.

However, the Republican governor has claimed that the race was "a mockery".

He tweeted: "By allowing men to compete in women's sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud.


"In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota's Emma Weyant as the best women's swimmer in the 500y freestyle."

With the tweet, he attached a signed declaration outlining that within the state of Florida Weywant would be recognised as the winner of the NCAA race.

In the declaration, he said: "Since she is a native Floridian from Sarasota, I, Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare in Florida that Emma Weyant is the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women's 500-yard Freestyle, congratulate her on yet another significant achievement, and express pride that she is a Florida resident."


Within the declaration, DeSantis also condemned letting male-born athletes to compete in female athletic events despite the sex they identify as.

The declaration states: "NCAA's actions serve to erode opportunities for women athletes and perpetuate a fraud against women athletes as well as the public at large."

It continued: "Women have fought for decades to have equal opportunities in athletics, and it is wrong to allow ideology to erode these opportunities as is happening in other states."

Thomas previously swam for the University of Pennsylvania's men's team before starting hormone replacement therapy in 2019.


Transgender rights remain a controversial topic in the United States and Thomas' case has captured the attention of the nation.

Thomas hit back at the critics in an interview earlier this month and said she wants to inspire other trans people with her story.

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, she said: "I just want to show trans kids and younger trans athletes that they're not alone.


"They don't have to choose between who they are and the sport they love."

Featured Image Credit: Sipa US/Alamy. Tribune Content Agency LLC/Alamy.

Topics: swimming, Lia Thomas

Jayden Collins
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You


Atletico Madrid mock Manchester United with cheeky tweet after 'rejecting huge €130m bid for Joao Felix'

4 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirms he wants to buy Manchester United

6 hours ago