Riley Gaines Responds To Suggestion She Learn To ‘Lose Gracefully’
Former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines testifies during a House Oversight Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services hearing on Capitol Hill December 5, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During testimony before Congress on Tuesday, top NCAA swimmer-turned-advocate Riley Gaines responded to the suggestion of another witness that athletes like Gaines learn to “lose gracefully.”

Last year, Gaines competed in the women’s 200 freestyle at the NCAA Division I Women’s Championships and placed fifth, tying with trans-identifying swimmer Lia Thomas, who previously competed on men’s teams. Thomas was given the only fifth place trophy for the photo-op after the event, while Gaines was told by the NCAA that her trophy would come in the mail.

“Just for the record, I have lost gracefully many times in my career. Even speaking to the incident of Thomas and I, at the national championships, we tied for fifth — granted, fifth in the entire nation, so it’s still an incredible achievement,” Gaines told Congress. “But there were four women who beat me. I’m incredibly proud of those women who beat me. So, I certainly can and have lost gracefully many times in my career.”

Gaines was joined by three other female witnesses to discuss the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX, which would effectively broaden the definition of sex to include “gender identity.”

The proposed changes would rewrite Title IX in such a way that policies banning biological males who identify as trans from competing with or against females would now be in violation of law. Issuing such sex distinctions to protect girls sports, therefore, could strip a school of its funding. The rule would be applied to public K-12 schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions that receive federal funding.

Earlier in the hearing, a supporter of the Biden Title IX rewrite named Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, suggested sex-separated sports actually harm girls and women, especially non-white athletes. In her opening statement she also emphasized how sports should teach athletes how to “learn to lose gracefully.”

Rep. James Comer (R-KY), when speaking to Gaines, blasted Goss Graves for the remarks. “I know we had a witness on the panel who suggested you should have just ‘lost gracefully,'” the Republican said. “I think that’s a slap in the face to any athlete who works so hard.”

As highlighted by The Daily Wire, Goss Graves during the same hearing downplayed concerns over biological males in women’s spaces, such as locker rooms.

“I actually think this is really, really important,” Graves said, responding to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). “The issue of privacy in locker rooms and in bathrooms – there’s a wide range of ways to address this. … You could put up a curtain, you could put up a door, you could have rotations.”

Related: WATCH: Sparks Fly Between Riley Gaines And Dem Rep During Hearing On Biden Proposal To Rewrite Title IX

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Riley Gaines Responds To Suggestion She Learn To ‘Lose Gracefully’