WELLINGTON (AFP) – New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is close to becoming the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics.
The 43-year-old is likely to be included in the Pacific Nation team in the over 87kg weight class, now that she has secured a quota at the Tokyo Summer Games, the New Zealand National Olympic Committee (NOC) news portal Stuff reports. (NZOC) as saying. Hubbard was a weightlifting man until 2012 when he became a woman.
Hubbard represented her country as the first transgender athlete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in 2018. In 2019, she won the title at the Pacific Games in Samoa, which also sparked discussions about whether transgender athletes born as men have physical advantages. At the time, Samoa’s Prime Minister, Celili Tuilaepa Maliligawi, said, “No matter how we look at him, he’s a man. And it’s appalling that this is ever allowed.”
According to IOC guidelines issued in November 2015, athletes who are considered female can compete in the women’s category if their testosterone level is less than ten nanomols per liter for at least twelve months before starting. The New Zealand Committee said: “Team New Zealand has a strong culture of inclusion and respect for all. We look forward to supporting all the athletes selected for the New Zealand team at Tokyo 2020.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210506-99-490986 / 4
“Coffee trailblazer. Social media ninja. Unapologetic web guru. Friendly music fan. Alcohol fanatic.”