JAPAN. Tokyo: New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is all set to make history today by becoming the first trans woman to compete in an Olympics solo event. Hubbard is the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual sport in the 125-year history of the Games. She is going to compete in the 87+kg category in Tokyo.
Recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) changed its rules to allow women to compete if their testosterone levels are below a certain level.
In a press conference, Hubbard released a statement through the IOC. The statement read: “I see the Olympic Games as a global celebration of our hopes, ideals, and values. I would like to thank the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible.”
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The 43-year-old weightlifter transitioned in 2012. Before that, she used to compete in men’s weightlifting competitions as Gavin Hubbard and set national records in junior competition before changing her gender identity. Hubbard’s Olympics qualification has been mired in controversy since the beginning. Many people think that her participation has set a precedent that will damage women’s sport.
Hubbard was born as a man to former Mayor of Auckland Dick Hubbard. She first qualified for female weightlifting competitions in 2017 before securing her spot last year for the delayed 2020 Tokyo games.