People Are Calling Michael Phelps Hypocritical After He Spoke Out Against Trans Athlete Lia Thomas_freckle removal chemist warehouse

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  • Tokyo GamesTokyo Games
  • Michael PhelpsMichael PhelpsAmerican swimmer
  • Christiane AmanpourChristiane AmanpourBritish-Iranian news anchor and international correspondent

You know Michael Phelps. He's the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. The swimmer has 28 medals — 23 of which are gold — to his name.

  Medianews Group / MediaNews Group via Getty Images
Medianews Group / MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Well, he joined journalist Christiane Amanpour on her podcast last week, where he was asked about Lia Thomas.

Reacting to ongoing debate over trans college athlete Lia Thomas competing on the women’s swimming team, “it’s very complicated,” says @MichaelPhelps. “We all should feel comfortable with who we are in our own skin. But I think sports should be played on an even playing field.”

06:47 PM - 13 Jan 2022

Now for those of you who don't know, Lia — a trans woman — has been breaking swimming records left and right at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of this, she's sparked debate from athletes, parents, and the public, with some claiming her participation as a trans woman is unfair.

<div><p>"I first realized I was trans the summer before, in 2018,” Thomas recently <a href="https://swimswam.com/penns-lia-thomas-opens-up-on-journey-transition-to-womens-swimming/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:told" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">told</a>SwimSwam. “There was a lot of uncertainty, I didn’t know what I would be able to do, if I would be able to keep swimming. And so, I decided to swim out the 2018–2019 year as a man, without coming out, and that caused a lot of distress to me. I was struggling — my mental health was not very good. It was a lot of unease, basically just feeling trapped in my body. It didn’t align. I decided it was time to come out and start my transition.” In 2020, Lia was approved by the NCAA to swim on the women's team.</p></div><span>Hunter Martin / Getty Images</span>

"I first realized I was trans the summer before, in 2018,” Thomas recently told SwimSwam. “There was a lot of uncertainty, I didn’t know what I would be able to do, if I would be able to keep swimming. And so, I decided to swim out the 2018–2019 year as a man, without coming out, and that caused a lot of distress to me. I was struggling — my mental health was not very good. It was a lot of unease, basically just feeling trapped in my body. It didn’t align. I decided it was time to come out and start my transition.” In 2020, Lia was approved by the NCAA to swim on the women's team.

Hunter Martin / Getty Images

"There are some people who are questioning her right to swim on a women's team," Christiane said to Phelps. "She's transgender. She's also been taking testosterone suppressants, but nonetheless does much better than her female contestants. What do you make of this?"

  CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour
CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour

“I can talk from the standpoint of doping,” Phelps said. “I don’t think I’ve competed in a clean field in my entire career.”

  CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour
CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour

"So, I think this leads back to the organizing committees again. It has to be a level playing field. That's something that we all need. That's what sports are."

  CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour
CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour

"For me, I don't know where this is going to go," Phelps added. "I don't know what's going to happen. We all should feel comfortable with who we are, but I think sports should be played on an even playing field. It's hard. It's very complicated."

  CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour
CNN / Via Twitter: @amanpour

"This is my sport," he continued. "This has been my sport my whole entire career. I would love for everybody to be able to compete on an even playing field."

(editor:)

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