On December 5, the campus of the University of Akron, in Ohio, experienced the emergence of Lia Thomas , turned into a sudden star after sweeping in three tests of the Zippy Invitational: 200, 500 and 1,650 free yards. Thomas, a senior swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, achieved the best mark of the year in the first two and dazzled in the last, taking a whopping 38 seconds out of second-place finisher, her teammate Anna Kalandadze. Despite the exhibition, there was no euphoria in the stands or excessive praise, but a hum that has accompanied Thomas since he decided to start the process to change sex in 2019.
Until then, and for the first twenty years
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