“Slapped Across the Face”: NCAA Swimmer Riley Gaines Reminisces the Moment That Destroyed Her Career

Published 07/16/2023, 9:33 AM EDT

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The former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines recently hosted the first episode of the OutKick OTT podcast, “Gaines For Girls”. Her guest on the episode was Sharron Davies, an Olympic swimmer. Together, they discussed transgender participation in women’s sports and the potential impact it has on the fairness and opportunities for female athletes.

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Gaines began the podcast by introducing Davies as an ally to her cause of ending transgender participation in women’s sports. She praised Davies for her courage in speaking out on this controversial issue and acknowledged the backlash they both have faced in their views. Gaines shared her own personal experience as a former swimmer. She revealed how she was affected when a prominent transgender athlete competed in the same race as her.

Dredging The Past

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Sharron Davies has written a tell-all book titled “Unfair Play” where she delves into the past, giving readers details about the East German doping scandal. Davies was a victim of sexism in the 1980s when the Stasi-led East German government implemented a state-sponsored doping program. This apparently was the reason behind the improved performances of their athletes. Sharron alleged that she lost out on winning the gold at the Olympics forty-three years ago precisely for this reason.

Riley Gaines praised the veteran for continuing her fight for all those years. She joined the fight after a locker room experience from last spring that has left her traumatized. Riley used to swim for the University of Kentucky and was “one of the most decorated swimmers”  in NCAA history. However, she quit the sport at the peak of her career in protest against the NCAA. She could not accept the NCAA’s decision to allow transgender athlete Lia Thomas to participate in the women’s race. On the podcast, addressing the subject, she stated “slapped across the face”. She also talked about the locker room scandal involving her and Thomas and was glad to have Sharron Davies’ support.

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Sharron Davies and Riley Gaines Unite Against Behind A Common Cause

Riley Gaines’ began a public campaign against the NCAA’s decision to allow Lia Thomas to compete in the women’s race. The source of this protest is the dressing room incident involving both athletes. Gaines felt “extreme discomfort” undressing in the shared locker room before Lia Thomas.

Reminiscing London Olympics, Sharron Davies Shares Vivid Michael Phelps Memory That Will Bring an Instant Smile

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Davies supported Gaines in her plea to the NCAA for both separate locker rooms and events for transgender athletes. According to Gaines, it was unfair to be “blackmailed into thinking that they are wrong for being uncomfortable undressing in front of a naked man”. It was difficult for Gaines to reminisce about the past that ended her promising swimming career.

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Written by:

Anchal Ahuja

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Anchal Ahuja is a sports author for Essentially Sports. She is a skilled writer who has a vast knowledge of different sports and is now delved into the US Sports Arena. Anchal has chased her dream and followed her passion to become a pro writer.
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Edited by:

Purva Jain

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