"USA Climbing doesn't believe women deserve equal opportunities" - Riley Gaines on USA Climbing delaying Transgender Policy Implementation

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Riley Gaines condemns USA Climbing’s policy update (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Riley Gaines condemned USA Climbing’s policy update after they declared the postponement in the introduction of the Transgender Athlete Participation Policy. The organization has, in the meantime, instructed the athletes to compete in the gender category that best aligns with their identity.

In the latest update, USA Climbing, the national governing body of the sport climbing in the country, stated:

“To reduce administrative complexities for all athletes, USA Climbing is delaying the implementation of the Transgender Athlete Participation Policy. Athletes may continue to compete in the gender category aligning with their identity.”

Gaines, a former American competitive swimmer, didn’t approve of the organization’s statement, and claimed that it was an unfair decision for the female athletes competing in the event. She responded to USA Climbing’s post on X (formerly known as Twitter), writing:

“What an embarrassing statement. Allowing men to compete with women is neither fair nor inclusive.”

Riles also claimed that the organization doesn’t believe in female athletes getting equal opportunities. She said:

“@USAClimbing doesn't believe women deserve equal opportunities. Keep the pressure on them.”

The turning point of her life, according to Riley Gaines, was when she competed against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in the NCAA in 2022. Since then, Riley has used her platform to advocate for the protection and fair treatment of female athletes in various sports.

She firmly stands against the inclusion of transgender athletes in sports. Gaines has actively campaigned regarding the issue: appearing in a TV ad for US Senator Rand Paul in Sept. 2022, and featuring in a campaign ad for former US Senate candidate Herschel Walker in 2023.

Gaines also took part in a protest at the NCAA convention, and spoke about the matter at a Donald Trump rally. While visiting San Francisco State University for a Turning Point USA student chapter event, she highlighted the issue again.

Riley Gaines praised FIDE for banning transgender athletes from women’s events

Riley Gaines praised FIDE for their ban on trans athletes (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Riley Gaines praised FIDE for their ban on trans athletes (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Riley Gaines applauded the chess federation, FIDE, for their ban on transgender athletes. On being asked about her role in the change, she confirmed that she worked towards the cause of implementing the ban.

“Of course I do," she said. "I worked alongside leadership within to make sure of it. Women's opportunities are meant for women, full stop. Men shouldn't be in women's category in chess, pool, or any sport.”

She added:

"Why even have women's category in the first place if men can play wherever they want?"

In August 2023, FIDE, the international chess governing body, imposed a temporary ban on the participation of transgender athletes in the female category.

The organization, in their statement, said that a change of gender may have a severe impact on competitiveness. They also added that if a competitor alters their gender, they will lose all titles earned.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann