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NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines of the University of Kentucky says she and other biological females were not given any advanced notice or warning that transgender athlete Lia Thomas would be sharing the same locker room and undressing in front of them.
One teammate says Thomas’ nudity is “definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the teammate explained to Daily Mail.
Thomas, who is a 22-year-old biological male, appears to be loving all of the attention, the teammate claims.
Gaines said, “People just weren’t really talking about it. And so we get to NCAAs, it was at Georgia Tech, and so we get there, and the environment is nothing like I’ve ever seen before.”
“It was so, like, almost edgy. Like people didn’t really know what to say, who to say what to, how to feel,” she continued.
“This was on day one,” she continued, “and then that night we watched Lia Thomas win a national title and blow all the other females completely out of the water. And that next day we came back and the mood had shifted to where people were mad.”
“The girls, you know, there were tears, these poor ninth and seventeenth place finishers who missed out on being named an All-American, there’s extreme discomfort in the locker room, there’s kind of these grumbles of —”
“Is he wandering around the women’s locker room?” Tucker Carlson of Fox News asked.
“Yeah. And that’s not something we were forewarned about, which I don’t think is right,” Gaines replied. “And any man’s changing in the locker room with someone who has different parts —”
“They just set a dude loose in your locker room and didn’t tell you,” Carlson said.
“Exactly,” Gaines responded. “And so I feel like to have that kind of forced upon us — so not only were we forced to race against a male, we were forced to change in the locker room with one. And so it’s just this feeling of like, ‘What is happening?’ Like, honestly, is this really happening? This is crazy.”
More on this story via Daily Wire:
Gaines spoke with Mary Margaret Olohan of The Daily Wire at the time of the NCAA championships. After she had placed fifth in the women’s 200 freestyle, tied with Thomas, she was informed that she would not receive her trophy at the championships since Thomas would get it. Instead, she was forced to hold the sixth place trophy on the podium and was told she would get hers in the mail.
Gaines said an NCAA official told her, “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.”
“It was a bit disheartening,” she said. “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. 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?”
Gaines spoke of watching Virginia Tech swimmer Reka Gyorgy, who placed 17th in the 500 free as Thomas finished in the top 16. Gyorgy thus did not qualify for the finals.