DeSantis Officially Declares Emma Weyant Victor of NCAA Women’s 500 Yard Freestyle

By Eric Daugherty, Florida's Voice

March 22, 2022 Updated 2:43 PM ET

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March 22, 2022 Updated 2:39 P.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FCV) – Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an official state declaration that Emma Weyant – a native Floridian from Sarasota – the 1st place winner of the NCAA’s Division 1 Women’s 500-yard freestyle.

“Since she is a native Floridian from Sarsota, I, Ron DeSantis, Governor of the State of Florida, do hereby declare in Florida that Emma Weyant is the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Women’s 500-yeard Freestyle, congratulate her on yet another significant achievement, and express pride that she is a Florida resident,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis called out Lia Thomas – a male who competed against Weyant in a women’s event and won – without referencing his name.

“WHEREAS, a male identifying as a woman was allowed to compete in and was declared the winner of the race by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Emma was determined to have come in second place,” he said.

DeSantis blasted the notion that men are being allowed to compete in women’s sports, saying that the NCAA “is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud.”

“In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota’s Emma Weyant as the best women’s swimmer in the 500y freestyle.”

Thomas is a male swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania. In May 2019, he began hormone replacement therapy to identify as a “woman.”

He won the 500 yard freestyle on March 17, 2022.

After the winners were announced, audience cheers and applause could be heard louder for Weyant than for Thomas.

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