Female college swimmer Riley Gaines has been making headlines standing up as a leading voice in the fight to protect the integrity and safety of women’s sports. Gaines, who is one of the fastest female college swimmers in America, was forced to compete against a biological male and give up her trophy to him after they tied in a competition. According to CBN News, Gaines explained why speaking out is so important to her and how her faith gives her the confidence to continue.
Speaking at the recent CPAC Conference in Dallas, Gaines crushed the argument that biological males should be allowed to compete with biological women in sports. Referring to the physical differences between males and females, Gaines said “It takes a brain and common sense and fifth-grade biology level of understanding to realize that this is blatantly unfair, it’s completely obvious.”
Discussing her experience tying biological male Lia Thomas in the NCAA National Championships, Gaines said that she questioned why Lia was able to take the trophy home while she was only allowed a photo op with it. Lia Thomas, formerly known as Will Thomas, is a 6-foot 4 biological male swimmer, and Gaines was told that Lia needed to take the trophy home to pose with pictures while she went home empty handed.
“They reduced everything that I had worked my entire life, for, which was not unique to just myself, all of us girls who were at that meet, what we’d worked our entire life for, they reduced that down to a photo op to validate the feelings of a male at the expense of our own,” Gaines said.
Gaines has been speaking out to defend women’s sports, fearing that if no one does, women’s sports will have no future. She is fighting for the next generation, but doing so is drawing just as much criticism as it is praise. Despite name-calling and even being physically assaulted by transgender activists, Gaines is pushing forward with confidence, strength, and determination. Gaines was struck in the face by one angry member of a transgender mob. Facing the anger and wrath of those who disagree with her view, and seeing how “hateful and sad” they are, Gaines said she prays for them.
Still, Gaines said that she is not afraid of criticism because what frightens her more is what will happen if she doesn’t speak up. Gaines knows what is at stake, and she is not giving up on the next generation of female athletes. Seeking help from God, Gaines shared that her favorite Bible verse is Romans 8:18: “For our present sufferings aren’t worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us,” which reminds her that all she has done and all she will go through will be worth it.