Lia Thomas looks off to one side wearing a jacket and holding a trophy to her chest

‘I plan to keep swimming’: Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas reveals Olympic dream as US trials approach

Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas said she plans to continue competing, with the ultimate goal of reaching the Olympics.

In an interview aired Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America show, Thomas also challenged the arguments of those who say she has an unfair biological advantage that compromises the integrity of women’s athletics.

“Trans women pose no threat to women’s sport,” she said.

Thomas became a leading symbol of transgender athletes – raising both opposition and support – when she joined the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) women’s swim team after playing in the men’s team for three years at Ivy League school.

In March, Thomas won the women’s 500-meter freestyle at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, becoming the first transgender woman to claim a national title in swimming.

She has since graduated from Penn and plans to study law in addition to her goal of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in 2024, which will define the team for the Paris Olympics.

“I plan to keep swimming,” Thomas told ABC.

“It’s been a long-time goal of mine to swim in Olympic trials, and I’d love to get through that.”

Thomas watches the start of the 200-meter freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship.

USA Swimming has used a review panel since 2018 to make individual decisions on a case-by-case basis. Thomas would need approval from the governing body to attempt to qualify for the next Olympic trials.

Growing up in Austin, Texas, Thomas said she fell in love with swimming at the age of four, but as she got older she felt more and more disconnected from her body.

“I didn’t feel like I was a boy,” she said.

After high school, Thomas earned a spot on Penn’s men’s swim team. But by her second year, she was struggling with deep depression and suicidal thoughts.

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