12-time All-American swimmer to speak Jan. 31 at HLGU

Gaines, Riley

Riley Gaines | Photo courtesy of Hannibal-LaGrange University

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Hannibal-LaGrange University will welcome Riley Gaines as a guest speaker at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in the Roland Fine Arts Center.

Gaines is a leader in defending women’s single-sex spaces, advocating for equality and fairness, and standing up for women’s safety, privacy and equal opportunities. The event is free and open to the public and is part of the Free Society Speaker Series that HLGU hosts in partnership with the Moorman Foundation.

Gaines graduated from the University of Kentucky, where she was a 12-time All-American swimmer. She has made waves for speaking out after tying the University of Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas, a biological male swimmer on the women’s team, for fifth place at the 2022 NCAA Division I women’s swimming and diving championships. She directly experienced competing against a man in women’s sports, and she was forced, without warning or consent, to undress before a fully intact male.

Gaines since has become one of the most powerful voices to speak out against allowing trans women to compete against women, challenging the rules of the NCAA, USA Swimming, International Olympic Committee and other governing bodies. 

Gaines works for the Riley Gaines Foundation through the Leadership Institute, which empowers and equips people to stand up for what is right. Gaines also speaks on laws concerning Title IX to keep biological women in women’s sports, and she has given her testimony before the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and multiple state legislatures.

In a press release, Eric Turner, Christian Studies division chair at HLGU, said, “HLGU is grateful and excited for the opportunity to host Riley Gaines on campus as part of our Free Society Speaker Series. Her commitment and quest to save women’s sports from the growing threat of individuals and entities within our culture who are determined to deconstruct gender is admirable. We believe her cause is shared and accentuated by HLGU’s core value of promoting a biblical worldview. For us, this event is an honor to host but also an important one for communicating and contributing our voice to this critical cause.”

The event is free, but tickets need to be secured through www.hlg.edu/free-society. There is a handling fee through the ticket website. For group sales, call 573-629-3260 or email FreeSociety@hlg.edu.

For more information about this event and the Free Society Speaker Series at HLGU, email FreeSociety@hlg.edu or call 573-629-3260.

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