György Réka started a race with cross swimmer Lia Thomas and protested against the rules that made this possible.
Last week, the LAA Thomas Trans swimmer, who may start among the women despite being a biological male, again won the NCAA college swimming competition.
Thomas, who identified himself as a woman, had previously spoken out against several teammates who said they supported their teammate’s identity, but felt it was unfair that a formerly successful swimmer could compete with women as well.
Hungarian Virginia Tech swimmer György Reka released a statement about what happened.
At the beginning of Giorgi Rica’s announcement, he asked the press to make only a full statement, so we will provide a full translation of his message. The swimmer also added that she did not want to comment on the matter other than the message.
The letter to the NCAA states:
“I would like to respond to the events of the past week and express my thoughts. First of all, I would like to remind everyone that I am a human being and I have feelings as a human being.
My name is Georgi Reka and I am from Hungary. I’m a 2016 Rio Olympian, I’ve represented Virginia Tech for the past 5 years, I’m a 2x ACC Champion, 2x All American, and 3 times Honor Every American Champion.
I would like to respectfully address a problem that exists in our sport and that harms athletes, especially mathematics. Everyone has heard of transgender Leah Thomas and her case, including the fears and fears that her status in our sport has caused. I’d like to point out that I’m totally with Lia Thomas and I don’t think it would be any different from me or any of the D1 swimmers who’ve been up at 5am their whole lives to be there for their morning workout. He sacrificed family vacations and holidays because of the races. He pushed his limits to be the best athlete he could be. He does what he loves and deserves that right. On the other hand, I would criticize the NCAA rules that allow it to compete against us, biological women.
I am writing this letter in the hope that the NCAA will open its eyes and change the rules. This is not good advertising for our sport and I think it is disrespectful to the biologically increased swimmers who compete in the NCAA.
I raced a fast 500 times in the NCAA on March 17, 2022, and finished 17th, which means I missed the finals and was first reserve. I’m in my 5th year, I’ve been between top 16 and 8 before and I know what a privilege it is to get to the finals in such a big race. This was my last college competition and I’m feeling down. I feel like this last potential position was taken away from me because the NCAA allowed someone who isn’t biologically growing to start racing. I know they could say I could have swam faster and then I’ll be in the top 16, but it’s a little different and I can’t feel any anger or sadness. It hurts me and my team and the other women in the pool. One place was taken from a girl who finished ninth in the 500 fast and did not reach the Final A, which prevented her from being an all-American. Of all the numbers that a transgender athlete participated in during the race, this meant that one place was taken by a biological woman.
The NCAA knew what would happen this week. They knew that people’s opinions would be divided, but decided not to do anything. This week has been about reporters, media, and the division within our sport more than about two under 21s and 50s at a speed 3 women go under 50s on 100 butterflies and for the first time in history, one woman slipped below 48 seconds in a 100 appearance. Thursday wasn’t a specific mathematical error. But it’s the result of the NCAA’s actions and their lack of interest in protecting athletes. I ask the NCAA to take the time to think of all the other biological women who participate in swimming, trying to imagine how they would feel in our shoes. Make the right changes for our sport and for a better future for swimming.
Thanks for reading:
Giorgi Rica, Virginia Tech swimmer.
You can read the letter in English here:
After the statement, several people, including US Senator Ted Cruz, reported that Twitter blocked György Réka’s Twitter feed. the account. However, it is said that this is not a swimmer’s account.
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