Lia Thomas (born 1998/1999), formerly recognized as William Thomas, is an American female transgender swimmer who was born to parents Bob and Carrie Thomas. She stands at a height of 6 feet 1 inch (1.85m and 185cm) and weighs 60kg.
The transgender swimmer has sparked a flurry of arguments as she made history as the first transgender athlete to win the NCCA Division I National Championship in any sport after her performance at the women’s 500-yard freestyle event in March 2022. Lia competed for the men’s swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania for three seasons from 2017-2020 before transitioning to the women’s team after undergoing hormone therapy. Since her transition, she has broken several national women’s swimming records, including the 200-meter and 500-meter freestyle at the Zippy Invitational Event.
Profile summary of Lia Thomas
- Full Name: Lia Catherine Thomas
- Date of Birth: 1998/1999
- Place of Birth: Austin, Texas, United States of America.
- Ethnicity: White
- Nationality: American
- Education: Westlake High School and the University of Pennsylvania.
- Profession: American swimmer
- Height: 6 feet 1 inch
- Weight: 60 Kg
- Marital Status: Single
- Sibling: Wes Thomas
- Instagram: liakthomas
Who are Lia Thomas’s Parents?
Lia Thomas was born William Thomas around 1998/ 1999 in Austin, Texas, the United States of America, to her parents, Bob and Carrie Thomas. She holds an American nationality and belongs to the white ethnic group. Lia was raised in Austin, Texas, alongside her older brother, Wes Thomas, who was a graduate of Westlake High School and the University of Pennsylvania.
Lia started swimming at the young age of 5. She attended Westlake High School, where she contended at state high school swimming championships and emerged sixth. After her high school education, she enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where she competed with the men’s swimming team as a man from 2017-2020. She transitioned to the female team after undoing hormone changes in 2020. Lia graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2022 with plans to attend law school and pursue a career as a civil rights attorney.
Lia Thomas’s Height and Weight
Lia Thomas stands at an impressive 6 feet 1 inch tall (1.85m) and weighs 60kg (132 lbs.). Generally, tall swimmers are said to have an edge over average or short swimmers because their height helps them swim fast and gives them more surface area to propel themselves forward. Lia Thomas has generated quite a lot of controversy since winning the NCAA Division I Championship, which has led many to believe that the competition was unfair to other women who competed with him because they believe Lia has the stamina and height similar to a man.
Her towering stature has undoubtedly helped her deliver her world-breaking performance at the 2022 NCAA Division I. The average height of an Olympic swimming medalist is recorded to be around 6 feet 2 inches for men and 5 feet 9 inches for women. This makes Lia Thomas, who is listed at a height of 6 feet 1 Inch, stand 2 inches above the average height of a women Olympic medalist.
Outside the swimming scene, the average height of female and male Americans is listed at 5 feet 4 Inches and 5 feet 9 Inches. This means Lia is 3 Inches taller than the average American woman.
How Tall is Lia Thomas compared to Emma Weyant?
Emma Weyant is an American Swimmer who won the 2020 Olympic Silver medal in the 400-meter individual medley. She competed alongside Lia Thomas in the much controversial 2022 National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA 500-yard freestyle final, finishing second place after Lia Thomas, who was a second faster.
The Olympic medalist stands at a height of 5 feet 8 Inches (1.85 meters and 185 cm). Emma’s height, in comparison to that of Lia, shows that the transgender athlete is 3 inches taller than Emma. Emma stands an inch below the average Olympic female medalist, but she is 4 inches above the average American woman.
Erica Sullivan’s Height Compared to Lia Thomas
Erica Sullivan is an American Olympic silver medalist in the 1500-meter freestyle at the 2020 Summer Olympics after finishing in second place. She finished third in the 2022 NCAA Division I Championship, after Lia Thomas and Emma Weyant.
The Silver medalist’s height is listed at 5 feet 7 inches (1.7 meters and 170 cm). Comparing her height to that of Lia Thomas, she is 4 Inches shorter than the transgender athlete and two inches below the average Olympic female medalist.
How Tall is Brooke Forde Compared to Lia Thomas?
Brooke is an American freestyle and individual medley swimmer from Louisville, Kentucky. She won her fourth title in the 400m individual medley at the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. At the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, she finished fourth in the women’s 500-yard freestyle.
The American freestyle swimmer stands at 5 feet 9 Inches (1.9 meters and 195 m) which is two inches below Lia Thomas, who won the 500-yard freestyle 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming Championship.
Lia Thomas’s Journey from a Man to a Transgender Woman
Lia Thomas has been at the center of the controversial debate as to whether or not transgender women should be allowed to compete with biological women. The transgender athlete began questioning her gender identity towards the end of her high school education, but it was not until her freshman year in 2018 that she came out as transgender to her family. She began using her new name on New Year’s Day in 2020.
In May 2019, Lia began gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy, a therapy that involves taking supplements of estrogen or testosterone to bring a trans person’s hormones in line with that of a cisgender (or non-transgender) person. This therapy causes changes like thinning body hair, shifting body fat into an hourglass shape, and most importantly, a drop in mass and strength in transgender women.
Prior to the hormone replacement therapy, Lia was a member of the men’s swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania for over three years before transitioning to the school’s women’s team in 2021.
The NCAA and the Olympics allow transgender women to compete in women’s competition after undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy for a full year and as long as tests show their testosterone is below certain levels. According to reports, Lia has been on Hormone Replacement Therapy for nearly three years and has reportedly lost her strength, quickness, and an inch of her height while on Hormone Replacement Therapy.
After Lia’s victory at the NCAA Championship in March 2022, several athletes and individuals have openly objected to her participation in the championship, stating that it was unfair to allow her to compete against biological women. Olympian Erika Brown protested against Lia’s participation, stating that it was time to stand up for women’s sport. She further stated that hormone replacement therapy does not permanently erase the fact that Lia possesses powerful muscles and better cardiorespiratory endurance compared to a biological woman.
Caitlyn Jenner also denounced Lia’s victory, stating that it was unfair competition. American swimmer Cynthia Millen also expressed hope that others in the sport will agree that Lia has an edge over her biological competitors. Responding to the controversy, Lia stated in an interview with Good Morning America that swimming at the Olympics for America was her childhood dream and that it is not her fault that she is a transwoman.