Lia Thomas’ dream of swimming in the Olympics was spectacularly dashed after a ruling from the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA, translated “International Swimming Federation”) that became effective today.
The ruling states that anyone who is born male must have their transition completed by the age of 12 to be able to compete in elite swimming competitions. Of the 152 members of FINA, a 71 percent majority passed the new legislation.
"We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women's category at FINA competitions," said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam.
The legislation passing means that FINA has instituted the strictest ban for an Olympic-level sports body on transgender athletes.
While we will not have to deal with a man swimming and taking away gold medals from females, it does not mean that transgendered females will be completely prevented from the Olympic stage ever again.
As best-selling children’s author Matt Walsh pointed out, it just meant that people will start transitioning their children at a younger age.
Hate to rain on everyone’s parade but this is not the win you think it is. The new rule is that males *who started their “transition” after age 12* can’t compete against females. This will only be used to push for younger “transitioning.” https://t.co/fqpUIg3cyx— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 20, 2022
While he is correct, it is still promising that at least one sports governing body is realizing that transgender athletes in sports creates unfair competition.