New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics after being selected for her country’s weightlifting team.
43, is among five confirmed weightlifters in the New Zealand squad for the Tokyo 2021 Games today.
She lifted 185kg in two lifts on her way to qualifying in the women’s heavyweight category and would be the biggest lifter of the event.
Hubbard, who has competed in the men’s competition until 2012 and will take fourth place in the 87kg and above category, which begins on August 2.
The weightlifter won the silver at the 2017 World Championships and the gold at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, after breaking his arm at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Responding to the news of her choice of Tokyo, she said: “I am grateful for the kindness and support many New Zealanders have given me.
“When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was told my athletic career might have come to an end.
Hubbard’s selection sparked controversy and controversy, but it met all requirements set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulations for trans athletes and fair competition.
Under the rules, transgender athletes can compete in the female category by declaring their gender identity as a woman and showing a total testosterone level below a specified measurement for at least 12 months prior to their first competition.
IOC policy also states that “the primary sporting objective is to ensure fair competition and will remain so”.
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