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Sports World Reacts To The Lia Thomas Award News

Lia Thomas at the NCAA Championships

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - MARCH 18: Lia Thomas looks on from the podium after finishing fifth in the 200 Yard Freestyle during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championship at the McAuley Aquatic Center on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology on March 18, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Comer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Penn women's swimmer Lia Thomas has been nominated for the NCAA 2022 Woman of the Year award.

Thomas, who joined the women's team at Penn after transitioning, previously competed on the men's side. She dominated women's swimming at the college level this past year, sparking some major debates about transgender athletes.

While it's unclear if Thomas will be able to contend for a spot at the Olympics moving forward, she is being honored by the NCAA. 

Thomas is one of several finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

She had told ABC earlier this year that she knew she would get scrutiny this year. 

“I knew there would be scrutiny against me if I competed as a woman. I was prepared for that,” she said in the interview. “But I also don’t need anybody’s permission to be myself and to do the sport that I love.”

That scrutiny has continued following the award news.

Swimming has made some decisions on transgender athletes in recent months. It will be interesting to see if Thomas pushes forward with her career, aiming for an Olympic spot.