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Margo Knorr
Margo Knorr
May 25, 2023 - 2 minutes
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Riley Gaines Is Coming To ND In June

I had the privilege of meeting Riley Gaines while participating alongside her in a panel discussion on women’s sports, moderated by Speaker McCarthy. The event took place on National Girls and Women in Sports day, with Rep. Claudia Tenney carrying the Protection of Women’s Sports Act to the house floor. One of the key topics discussed was the negative impact on women when male athletes are allowed to compete on women’s teams.

Riley Gaines serves as the official spokeswoman for Independent Women, and her personal experience of competing against a male athlete garnered national attention in 2022. The NCAA permitted a senior athlete named Will Thomas to switch from the U Penn men’s team to their women’s team after he changed his name to Lia and began hormone therapy. Shockingly, Thomas went on to win an NCAA National title while being hailed by the media as a woman. Amidst the applause, Riley Gaines stood as the lone voice of dissent, bravely speaking the truth.

Riley, along with the Independent Women Network, is spearheading a nationwide movement which gained momentum thanks to Riley’s courage. Even Governor Burgum, who previously vetoed a bill protecting female athletes, has had a change of heart. Recently, he signed two women’s sports protection bills into law, both sponsored by Rep. Ben Koppelman.

Riley’s unwavering determination coupled with humility is a rare combination seen in those who are secure in their identity before their Creator. Her social media profile proudly states, “In Christ Alone,” indicating the source of her strength and courage. As North Dakotans, we eagerly anticipate hearing more from Riley when she visits our state this June.

On June 8th, the Independent Women Network’s Bismarck Chapter will be hosting a luncheon that will give out “The Riley Gaines Courage Award,” which recognizes extraordinary courage and perseverance in protecting women’s sports under challenging circumstances.

Riley’s speaking tour as an Independent Women representative will continue to Medora, ND, on June 9th, where she will be participating in an all-day educational forum. Day passes for the event can be obtained at

This piece originally appeared in the Minot Daily News

Margo Knorr
Margo Knorr Coleharbor, ND.
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