Reka Gyorgy, a swimmer for Virginia Tech, wrote a letter criticizing the NCAA transgender policy after she didn’t qualify for the finals 500 free swim. She blamed the NCAA and Lia Thomas for her not qualifying.
She posted the critical letter on Instagram, saying that it was unfair that the NCAA allowed Thomas, who is transgender, to swim against “biologically female,” swimmers. The swimmer started her critical letter by saying that she stood with Thomas and the letter was only criticizing NCAA.
Gyorgy said, “I (Reka) respect and fully stand with Lia Thomas; I am convinced that she is no different from me or any other D1 swimmer who has woken up at 5am her entire life for morning practice.” Gyorgy later argued that the UPenn swimmer had an unfair advantage.
Gyorgy said, “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 swimmers who are competing in the NCAA.”
According to reports, Reka Gyorgy competed in a 500 freestyle on Thursday that would have qualified her for the finals, but she finished in 17th place and missed the qualification by one place. She added in her letter that was because of Lia Thomas’ dominance and said she was frustrated.
Lia Thomas went on to win the 500 freestyle finals with a time of 4:33.24.
“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,” said the 17th Place finisher.
“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,” Reka Gyorgy added.
Reka Gyorgy ended her letter by saying that Thursday’s meet was more about cameras and media then the athletes who were swimming. She also said that she won’t stop fighting until the NCAA changes the policy.
The 17th Place finisher reportedly had her Twitter account deleted after she bashed the NCAA and Lia Thomas. Her Instagram is currently private. Gyorgy is a 2-time ACC Champion, 2-time NCAA All-American and a 3-time NCAA All-American Honorable Mention. She even competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The NCAA has not commented on Reka Gyorgy’s letter.
Since Lia Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA Championship in any Division I sport, many have criticized the young swimmer and the NCAA for the transgender policy. Critics assert that Thomas should not be allowed to compete with cis women.
Earlier in the season, the NCAA changed the policy regarding transgender athletes and allowed individual sports to pick how they deal with transgender eligibility.