Scott Wiener falsely claims Riley Gaines came in sixth behind trans swimmer Lia Thomas after ‘tiebreaker’ at 2022 NCAA Championships

Mar 28, 2024 | Political News

During a California Senate hearing on a resolution recognizing “Transgender Day of Visibility,” State Senator Scott Wiener claimed that former collegiate swimmer Riley Gaines actually came in sixth place during the NCAA swim championships in 2022 behind trans-identified male swimmer Lia Thomas, and that there was a “tiebreaker” between the two, despite the two actually tying down to the hundredth of seconds and Thomas being given the trophy over Gaines.

Wiener spoke on Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer, saying she “complained that a trans woman tied her and because of a tiebreaker, came in ahead of her. What she neglects to mention is that they tied for sixth place because five cisgender women finished ahead of the trans woman who was swimming and that became a cause celebre as some sort of argument against trans participation in sports. There are, kids in general and particularly trans kids, they just want to live their lives.”

Gaines criticized Wiener on X, stating that “Everything he said is a lie.”

“There was no ‘tiebreaker’. We went the EXACT same time. I didn't place 6th. I've always been clear we tied for fifth fastest in the entire country,” she wrote, adding that Wiener is a “misogynistic Marxist.”

Gaines competed against former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Championships in Georgia in the 200-yard freestyle. The two tied in the finals, both swimming exactly 1:43.40. Thomas was given the trophy to stand on the podium, while Gaines was told that hers would be mailed to her. 

Gaines testified before Congress in June, “We went the exact same time down to the hundredth of a second. Having only one trophy, the NCAA handed it to Thomas and told me I had to go home empty handed. And when I asked why, which was a question they were not prepared to be asked, I actually appreciate their honesty because they said Thomas, it was crucial Thomas had it for picture purposes.”

Senate Resolution 70, which passed on March 18, designates March 31, 2024 as Transgender Day of Visibility. The resolution also designates the week of March 18 through March 22, 2024 as Transgender Week of Visibility in the state Capitol.

The resolution’s text begins by stating that the concept of “two-spirit,” originated “from Indigenous communities of Turtle Island.” Turtle Island is the name given to North America by activists.

The resolution uses the acronym “2STGNCI,” which encompasses “Two-Spirit, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming or Nonbinary, or Intersex” persons. 

“The International Transgender Day of Visibility encompasses an expansive community of people, including people who identify as two-spirit, transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, and/or intersex,” the resolution states, adding that “While Transgender Day of Remembrance was established in 1998 to honor the trans community’s pain and memorialize trans people we have lost due to trans hate and gender violence, the International Transgender Day of Visibility was subsequently founded over a decade later to celebrate 2STGNCI people and center joy, hope, and 2STGNCI identities.”

The resolution states that “Nationally, there were over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country during the 2023 legislative year, and there are already over 400 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures across the nation during the two months of the 2024 legislative year,” adding that “the aforementioned anti-LGBTQ+ bills disproportionately target 2STGNCI people and include efforts to prohibit access to lifesaving gender-affirming medical care, prevent 2STGNCI youth from playing school sports alongside their friends, erase 2STGNCI identities from vital records and state driver’s licenses, ban books that include 2STGNCI people and history, prohibit 2STGNCI people from using restrooms and facilities in accordance with their gender identity, and criminalize 2STGNCI people who bravely embrace their authentic selves amid rising hostility.”