DeSantis declares Sarasota athlete as ‘best swimmer’ following NCAA 500-yard freestyle

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 17: University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas accepts the winning...
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 17: University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas accepts the winning trophy for the 500 Freestyle finals as second place finisher Emma Weyant and third place finisher Erica Sullivan watch during the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships on March 17th, 2022 at the McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)(Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire | AP)
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 2:11 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 3:59 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - After transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA Division I national championship in the 500-yard women’s freestyle last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis took to Twitter to challenge the win.

DeSantis issued a proclamation Tuesday declaring Sarasota native Emma Weyant, who placed second, as the winner.

Thomas made history as the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I championship, beating Weyant by 1.75 seconds.

“By allowing men to compete in women’s sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud,” wrote DeSantis. “In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”

Weyant has not commented publicly on DeSantis’ comments.

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