‘Wake Up, Mothers And Fathers’: Olympic Gold Medalist Voices Support For Riley Gaines

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Olympic gold medalist Donna de Varona said parents of girls should support former NCAA champion swimmer at the University of Kentucky Riley Gaines.

Gaines tied for fifth place in the 200-meter freestyle event at the NCAAs in March 2022 with Lia Thomas, a biological male who swam at the University of Pennsylvania. After the race, the NCAA gave Thomas the fifth-place trophy, Gaines told The Daily Wire. (RELATED: ‘Watching Us Undress’: Trans Swimmer Lia Thomas Allegedly Exposed ‘Male Genitalia’ In Women’s Locker Room)

“She’s got a lot of us veterans behind her,” de Varona said Monday on “The Brian Kilmeade Show.” “But where is middle America? Wake up, mothers and fathers, and start speaking out.”

De Varona said she was frustrated by the University of Pennsylvania’s response to the swimmers who competed against Thomas. They were muzzled and told not to speak unless it’s to a therapist.

Gaines was assaulted on the San Francisco State University campus in April. She detailed what happened on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich,” explaining that protesters stormed the podium and that they were “pushing and shoving and hitting.”

“I was supposed to meet with the head of campus police a half an hour before the event to discuss an exit strategy if this happened but the police never showed up to meet me,” she described. Gaines also said she feared for her life.

De Varona competed in the 1964 summer Olympics in Tokyo, winning gold medal in the women’s 400, beating the second-place finisher by six seconds setting an Olympic record. She also received a second gold medal on the 4 x 100. At age 17, she had 18 world records. She also created the Women’s Sports Foundation and created the foundation for Title IX.

De Varona said that there needs to be a “reasonable way” to deal with the transgender and binary population, referencing how the New York Marathon created a separated category for them.