There’s a reason that men’s and women’s sports have traditionally been kept separate, and it’s not that the people who developed school and professional athletic programs hated women or trans people. Rather, it’s that biological men generally have a vast competitive advantage over women in sports in which more strength physical ability leads to winning.
That’s just a fact of biology, and it was shown yet again, this time in the context of a woman who decided to become a man and went from being an all-American swimmer to toward the bottom of the pack. Here’s what the Daily Wire reported:
An Ivy League women’s All-American swimmer went from pool shark to scrub after identifying as male and joining the men’s team, the opposite of the switch made by Lia Thomas.
Iszac Henig, a senior on the Yale men’s swim team, placed 79th out of 83 at a men’s meet in November after earning All-American plaudits as a junior on the school’s women’s team. But in an op-ed column Henig wrote for the New York Times this week, the 22-year-old athlete, whose breasts were removed, says living as a man makes it all worthwhile.
Henig even recognized that fall from the top in an op-ed written in the New York Times and titled “I Chose to Compete as My True, Trans Self. I Win Less, but I Live More.”
Writing in the op-ed on what happened, Henig said “I wasn’t the slowest guy in any of my events, but I’m not as successful in the sport as I was on the women’s team.”
That’s a bit of an understatement: the only men Henig beat were a one-armed swimmer and a few swimmers who specialize in other strokes. So a fall from the very top to toward the very bottom.
The Daily Wire, commenting on Hening and famous trans swimmer Lia Thomas, also reported that Henig was one of the top swimmers on the high school (women’s) team, contrasting that performance with Lia Thomas’ mediocre pre-identity change performance and saying:
Henig, who hails from Menlo Park, California, was a high school phenom and even tried out for the 2016 Olympics long before having a double mastectomy and identifying as a man. As a sophomore at Yale, Henig was the top swimmer on the women’s team.
Thomas, on the other hand, was a mediocre competitor on the University of Pennsylvania men’s team before identifying as a female and smashing records while representing the school’s women’s team. Several of Thomas’s teammates and rivals complained that Thomas’s biological advantages made competitions unfair.
Thomas and Henig actually competed against each other early last year, after Henig began identifying as a male but before Henig switched over to the men’s team. Henig bested Thomas in both the 100- and 400-yard freestyle events.
The NCAA, however, has changed the rules regarding when trans-athletes can compete as the gender which they identify as rather than the gender to which they were born, so Henig might not have a long time left swimming as a “scrub,” as the Daily Wire put it, for the men’s team.
Featured image credit: Yale University Athletic Department
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