Kentucky Swimmer: NCAA Official Sent Lia Thomas Home With A Trophy After We Tied, But Not Me

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In yet another slight to the biological females who were forced to battle Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas at the NCAA Championships over the weekend in Atlanta, Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines says in an interview that she was sent home without a trophy, even though she tied with Thomas in the 200 freestyle national championship race.

In an interview with The Daily Wire, Gaines, from Gallatin, Tenn., tells the outlet that an NCAA official decided to grant Thomas the fifth-place trophy to pose with on the podium while telling the Kentucky swimmer that hers would be sent to her house.

“Hey, I just want to let you know, we only have one fifth-place trophy, so yours will be coming in the mail,” Gaines claims she was told by the NCAA official. “We went ahead and gave the fifth-place trophy to Lia, but you can pose on the podium with the sixth-place trophy.”

Here is Gaines on the podium Friday night with the sixth-place trophy while Thomas hugs the fifth-place prize even though both swimmers finished with a time of 1:43:40.

Lia Thomas and Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines tied for 5th in the 200 Freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming Championships in Atlanta. Gaines claims an NCAA official gave the 5th place trophy to Thomas and sent her home empty-handed. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Gaines says she questioned the official but agreed to walk out with the sixth-place trophy.

“Ok that’s fine, she worked hard, just like I worked hard, there’s no question there,” Gaines added, while noting she argued with the official over this slight. “But can I ask why she gets the fifth-place trophy before I do? Especially last night, she just won the national title.”

Gaines says the official tried to claim something about awarding swimmers in chronological order.

According to Gaines, she was told by the official that “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.”

Lia Thomas and Kentucky’s Riley Gaines tied in the 200 freestyle national championship race.

Riley Gaines’ collegiate swimming career ended the next day. She went home without her trophy, and the NCAA avoided a Lia Thomas controversy via the mainstream media that would have destroyed the organizational body if it had sent Thomas home without the trophy.

Yet again, a biological female was put in a position where she had to be the good soldier. It was the same across the board at the NCAA championships where the biological women who lost to Thomas in the 500 freestyle national championship race stayed quiet about their loss to a biological male.

Women at the national level had been told it’s in their best interest to just stay quiet so as to not rock the boat. Thomas’ teammates had spoken out against the travesty that was happening to women’s sports, but the females at the national level refused to be pulled into the controversy. They were happier losing to Thomas than firing up the woke mob.

Then swimmers like Virginia Tech’s Reka Gyorgy and Gaines came along to tell their stories. There will be more ladies who speak up, thanks to the bravery seen out of the national competitors who finally found themselves in the crosshairs of a biological male living out a swimming fantasy.

But it’s going to take more voices within these sports to take a stand.

Never forget what one of Thomas’ teammates told OutKick back in December.

“When I have kids, I kinda hope they’re all boys because if I have any girls that want to play sports in college, good luck. [Their opponents] are all going to be biological men saying that they’re women,” Thomas’ teammate said during an interview. “Right now we have one, but what if we had three on the team? There’d be three less girls competing.”

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. Well quit whining and quit jumping in the pool with that dude all you females should just let this fool swim alone as long as you hop in the pool with him this nonsense will continue would think you gals could have figured this out by now smh

  2. She calls Thomas “she” and so lost any sympathy I may have had. Agree with Salty. Stop swimming with him and this ends. They’re probably all afraid of losing scholarships so I kind of get it. But then quit whining.

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