Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Becomes First Transgender Athlete Competing At The Olympics


Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter from New Zealand has been receiving lots of praise after becoming the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics.


In fact, Hubbard has just made history to be selected for the Olympic games where she will compete in the super-heavyweight 87KG category after qualifying requirements were altered.



Furthermore, her selection is also marking a return to the sport after last competing was in 2013 before transitioning.


In a statement, Hubbard said that she feel grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that she received from the New Zealanders.



The weightlifter has been eligible since 2015 when rules were changed to enable transgender athletes to compete as long as their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months before their first competition.


The selection has also been praised by sporting boards across New Zealand.



Despite the support shown for Hubbard, there have been worries about the weightlifter’s inclusion and scientists have pointed out an advantage for those who have gone through puberty as a male as they typically have greater bone and muscle density.


Others have noted that there is always a disparity between athletes.



Other potential opponents have also criticised the decision including the Belgian weightlifter, Anna Vanbellinghen where she stated:


First off, I would like to stress that I fully support the transgender community, and that what I’m about to say doesn’t come from a place of rejection of this athlete’s identity […] However, anyone that has trained weightlifting at a high level knows this to be true in their bones: this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes.


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