A swimmer who tied transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in a recent Atlanta NCAA championship match has come forward to say that allowing Thomas to compete, let alone be declared the trophy winner between the two of them, was “wrong” and “unfair.”
Riley Gaines, who tied the controversial transgender swimmer, said the NCAA told her that Thomas would be pictured with the 5th place trophy at the Atlanta championships and that she could “pose” with the sixth-place trophy.
Gaines told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that when she questioned an NCAA official about that decision, she was told they were going in chronological order of winners – despite the fact she and Thomas tied.
“We tied. What are we being chronological about?” she recalled asking the official. “And he kind of blatantly said, ‘we’re just going to give the trophy to Lia; we respect and admire your swim, but Lia needs to hold the trophy.'”
Host Tucker Carlson remarked that the exchange showed that the NCAA is openly promoting biological males over biological females in a women’s event.
Gaines said many other female swimmers have been advised not to speak out.
“I’m fortunate enough to where I have such an amazing support system at the University of Kentucky … I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I am almost certain I’m speaking for a large majority of female athletes: This is not OK, and it’s not fair.”
“I think there’s a difference between your sex and your gender identity, and so I think that it’s just been totally misconstrued and lost,” she said.
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared that silver medalist and Florida native Emma Weyant be named the true winner of the NCAA 500-yard freestyle championship despite being beaten by Thomas in an earlier competition.
Weyant, who came in second during the Mar. 17 competition at the NCAA championships held at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center, received hearty congratulations from Gov. DeSantis during a press conference earlier this week on Mar. 22.
“She earned that. We need to honor that appropriately,” DeSantis told the gathered media.
“The NCAA is basically takings efforts to destroy women’s athletics,” DeSantis added. “They’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition. They’re crowning somebody else, the women’s champion, and we think that’s wrong.”
Florida is one of a handful of states that have passed laws meant to protect women’s sports and barring men who “identify” as women from competing against natural-born females.
“We thought it was very important that girls and young women athletes in the state of Florida had the ability to work hard, to realize their dreams, and to compete fairly,” the gov. said of Florida’s law. “Whether it’s in swimming, it’s in track and field; you name it.”
Weyant earned a time of 4:34.99 to Thomas’ 4:33.24 to come in second in the 500 freestyle last week.
Despite the NCAA’s claim that Lia Thomas was the winner, though, Weyant became celebrated on social media as the real winner of the event, with many social media users saying that they “identify” Weyant as the winner – as a not so subtle dig to Thomas “identifying” as a woman.
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