Lia Thomas has confirmed she is aiming to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.
In an interview with ABC, Thomas said she is continuing to swim and would like to compete for a spot representing the United States in women’s swimming at the Olympics.
“It’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time and I would love to see that through,” she said.
If she makes Team USA and competes at the Paris Olympics, she’ll be only the second out transgender woman to compete in the Olympics, following New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. Caitlyn Jenner competed in the men’s decathlon in 1976 before she came out publicly.
The path to the Olympics for Thomas is still unknown. USA Swimming has created a policy that does not currently allow her to compete in events. The new policy forces trans women to undergo hormone replacement therapy for at least three years before they can compete; Reports say she will likely qualify to compete this summer.
The International Olympic Committee previously had a one-year mandate of HRT for trans women. That has been thrown out the window, leaving the decision for transition mandates to FINA, the international governing body for the sport. What hurdles they will create for trans women like Thomas is currently unknown.
While some people argue vehemently against the inclusion of trans women in female sports, and others argue Thomas has not yet gone through a sufficient transition period, she says she isn’t harming other women.
“Trans women are not a threat to women’s sports,” Thomas said. She bases that on the fact that very few women have won NCAA titles in the decade that they have been included in college sports; With that said, now 2% of the younger generation considers themselves to be trans, much higher than previous generations. That number is more than three times higher than the athletes in high school in the 1990s.