National track champion and Iowa record holder Ainsley Erzen spoke at Thursday’s bill signing as Gov. Kim Reynolds inked into law that only biological females will be allowed to compete in female sports in Iowa.
Erzen, who holds the fastest time in the 800-meter run in Iowa and is a national champ, would have been beaten by 85 high boys alone at the state track meet in 2021.
Erzen noted her vocal support of the bill and pointed to her article published in The Des Moines Register.
“Since then I have spent many many hours here defending the bill, but today I am so honored to stand before you all and say thank you,” she said. “However, I don’t think words could ever be enough to describe just how much this bill means to me and all other (girls) in Iowa.”
She also added she has experienced firsthand just how much people hate the truth and, even more so, those who speak it. During the experience, she said she has doubted her ability to spread the message.
“But this experience has taught me more than anything that when God begins a work within you, He will always finish what He started,” she said. “And furthermore, He will place people in your life to help along the way.”
She said she’s met girls from across the state who are amazing and stand with her. She said she’s met with dozens of senators and representatives who are “unafraid to speak out for what’s right.” And she met with the governor who, she said, is one of the most courageous women.
“It is with these things at the forefront that we are able to be here today to watch this bill get into law. It is because of these things and the people brave enough and bold enough to stand for them that Iowa girls today and every generation to come will be able to pursue the thing they love to the best of their ability.
“Whether that’s chasing titles, records or scholarships or earning a starting position on a spot on the team, no girl will be sidelined in her own sport.
“Today we get to send a crucial message to all Iowa girls now and all those to come in the future. A message girls today so rarely get to hear. The message that women are so much more than a hormone level. That the things girls love are worth protecting. And their hard work and dedication (are) recognized and their dreams can become a reality.”
Still, the law is bigger than every girl in the room, she said.
“I’ve seen firsthand that courage does beget courage and that one person’s pursuit of truth will always lead to that of another’s,” she said. “I’m so unbelievably proud to be part of a state that’s bold enough to lead the way for the rest of the nation on such an important issue and confident that the example you’re setting today will soon be followed by others. Because truth always wins and God never fails us. I’ve truly never been prouder than I am today to call myself an Iowa girl.”