The winner of the 500-yard women’s freestyle at last week’s NCAA championships was technically Lia Thomas, but Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis who refused to accept it and proclamed second place winner, and Olympian, Emma Weyant, as the unofficial winner.
Gov. Ron DeSantis recognized on Twitter one of the state’s residents as the unofficial winner of the event and issued a proclamation to that effect.
Mr. DeSantis said after the University of Pennsylvania swimmer, who is transgender (male to female) and competed on the Ivy League school’s men’s team until two seasons ago, that “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” per report.
WATCH DeSantis discuss it:
“In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle,” Mr. DeSantis wrote.
Weyant who lost last week’s race by 1.75 seconds, a healthy margin at a high-level competition, and was an Olympic silver medalist, is swimming for the University of Virginia.
DeSantis wrote in his proclamation that Ms. Weyant logged “the fastest time among all women swimmers [but] … a male identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race.”
The lengthy governor’s proclamation, complete with the formal and legalistic “Whereas…” transitions between paragraphs was attached to Mr. DeSantis Twitter.
It was also noted in the proclamation that the state had passed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” requiring athletes in Florida public schools and colleges to compete according to their biological sex.
Based on her being a native Floridian, Mr. DeSantis wrote under that authority that “I … do hereby declare in Florida that Emma Weyant is the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s 500-yard Freestyle.”
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