Riley Gaines, one of the young women who competed against a biologically male athlete during the NCAA women’s swimming championships earlier this year, shut down rumors that she dodged a kiss from former President Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend.
Gaines, a 12-time All-American and three-time Southeastern Conference champion, expressed gratitude in an Instagram post for the “once in a lifetime experience” of sharing “a stage with the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump.”
Trump had invited Gaines to join him on stage as he emphasized the importance of protecting the integrity of women’s sports.
“What an honor,” the University of Kentucky graduate said.
Gaines pointed to leftists’ insinuations that she had dodged the former president’s greeting, describing them as a “prime example of the left media pushing propaganda to fit their narrative.”
Trump calls swimmer Riley Gaines up on stage and tries to give her a kiss. She flinches and pulls away. pic.twitter.com/zKSZMAEF2Y
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) August 7, 2022
“In no way, shape, or form did I ‘dodge a kiss’ from Trump nor was I uncomfortable on that stage with him at any point in time,” she said. “I slightly turned my head so I could hear what he was saying to me. Proof that not everything you read is factual. But keep clutching at straws, it’s almost comical.”
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Gaines first shared her story with The Daily Wire in March after she competed against Thomas in the 200 freestyle on Friday at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships. Since then, she has repeatedly spoken out on Fox News and teamed up with the Independent Women’s Forum to defend fairness in women’s sports.
At the CPAC event, Gaines shared how she tied with Thomas for fifth place but was asked to hold the sixth place trophy for a photo op.
“Pro-woman & pro-fairness is not anti-trans,” she said in her Instagram post. “I truly can’t even believe this is a topic for debate. It’s simple.”
“Women should not be forced to share a changing space & compete against males with biological advantages that will never be completely diminished regardless of hormones taken,” she added. “If you’re delusional enough to think fairness for women is considered transphobic, you’re simply misogynistic.”