In the 200 freestyle final at the 2022 NCAA Women's Championships, University of Kentucky senior Riley Gaines finished tied for fifth with University of Pennsylvania's Will Thomas, who was allowed to compete against the girls as "Lia."
After that race, Thomas and Gaines shared the fifth-place podium, but Thomas was reportedly given the only fifth-place trophy for the event.
Gaines told The Daily Wire at the time that an NCAA representative told her, "We only have one fifth-place trophy, so yours will be coming in the mail. We went ahead and gave the fifth-place trophy to Lia, but you can pose on the podium with the sixth-place trophy."
Also, even though the two swimmers tied, Thomas was listed ahead of Gaines on the official results page.
Ever since, Gaines has taken a very public stance to preserve the integrity of women's sports. She recently told Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia at a "special weekend service" that that battle has sharpened her faith.
"I've always been spiritual, but this past year, I really have been spiritually awakened," she told the congregation.
She said she quickly realized she was fighting a spiritual battle, not a public policy one.
"I have seen so evidently how God moves through people, how he has his hand on me in this situation, in this fight," Gaines noted. "But that being said, I've also seen so evidently how his opposition works and moves through people."
According to her, the battle is no longer right versus wrong or good versus bad. It is moral versus evil.
"The lie never becomes truth. Bad never becomes good. Evil never becomes moral just because it's embraced or accepted by a small portion of society," Gaines declared.