Female Swimmer Ties with Trans Athlete, But She's Forced to Go Home Without a Trophy After NCAA Decision
The bias for transgenders is so strong in the NCAA that even natural-born women who tie a transgender athlete can’t get her proper recognition.
University of Kentucky senior Riley Gaines was thrilled to win fifth place in the 200 freestyle last week during the NCAA championships held at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center. But her elation was dashed when she found out her time tied with that of controversial transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas.
Her foreboding got even deeper when she approached officials and was told she couldn’t even get a trophy because they gave the only fifth-place award they had to Lia Thomas without even discussing it first.
They told her that Thomas got the trophy because of “chronological order,” but the explanation didn’t satisfy Gaines.
Officials then offhandedly told her she could stand on the winner’s dais next to Thomas and could hold the sixth place trophy to make it look like she was getting a trophy that day. But in fact, Gaines went home without a trophy and was told that it would be mailed to her later. Gaines went from being the fifth-best female swimmer in college sports to going home without the trophy that she was due.
Gaines told the Daily Wire that she tried to argue her case, but it was clear that the NCAA was more interested in catering to Thomas, a biological male who “identifies” as a woman, than they were to assisting actual female contestants.
Photos of the trophy ceremony show Gaines at 5 foot 5, standing next to the hulking Thomas, 6 foot 1. But Gaines has decided to speak out about this humiliation.
Here’s a photo of Lia Thomas and Riley Gaines after they tied for 5th in the women’s 200 freestyle.
Riley told @realDailyWire that an official told her to hold the sixth place trophy.
“We just want Lia to hold the fifth place trophy.”
(via Getty by Rich von Biberstein) pic.twitter.com/hMKPlx6UhW
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) March 23, 2022
“Ok that’s fine, she worked hard, just like I worked hard, there’s no question there,” Gaines said she told the NCAA official ahead of the trophy ceremony. “But can I ask why she gets the fifth place trophy before I do? Especially last night, she just won the national title.”
Gaines added that the NCAA official condescendingly replied, “I just want you to know that we respect you and admire your swim so much, but we just want Lia to hold the fifth place trophy.”
Gaines said that she was certainly not satisfied with the NCAA’s political stance.
“I was probably running my mouth a little more than I should. I told the guy, ‘I don’t think that’s that’s right, and I don’t think that’s fair. There’s no dispute that only one of us can hold the trophy, but I think given the circumstances, you’re just trying to save face a little bit,'” Gaines continued.
“It was a bit disheartening,” she told the outlet. “It really was. I left the pool with no trophy. Not a big deal, but it was the goal that I had set all year.”
“The more I thought about it, the more it fired me up,” Gaines added. “It’s almost like the NCAA is trying to save face by giving Lia the fifth place trophy.”
“Who are we trying to protect here and who are we trying to fight for here?” she asked, adding that the way the event was run it was like the whole day was just set up to be a showcase for Lia Thomas.
Gaines is not the first natural-born female to speak out against the NCAA’s decision to allow Thomas to compete as a woman.
Thomas spent three seasons swimming as a man on the UPenn team until taking a year off to “transition.” But this purported transitioning did not include surgical options, and Thomas still retains his male genitalia, according to Breitbart News. And some of his female teammates said this year that they were uncomfortable with Thomas in the locker room.
Many teammates were outraged over the whole situation, and at one point sixteen UPenn swimmers wrote a letter protesting the league’s decision to allow Thomas to compete as a woman. The letter, though, was written anonymously because these female athletes feared their lives being destroyed by rabid liberal activists should they be identified in public.
It wasn’t until Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy, another female who lost out to Thomas, publicly protested Thomas’ participation that someone actually put their name to the criticism.
With Gaines now joining Gyorgy, that makes two brave women actually putting their names on the line.
It remains to be seen if any of this will make a difference. It seems clear that the NCAA chose the path of politics with its bowing to Thomas, and not the path of fairness to the women facing the powerful man who now claims to be a woman. The whole incident has made a mockery of women’s sports.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.