Laurel Hubbard to become first transgender Olympian 4 months ago

Laurel Hubbard to become first transgender Olympian

The New Zealand native transitioned in 2012.

Laurel Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to take part in the Olympic Games and is heading for Tokyo.

Advertisement

The weightlifter has been selected by New Zealand to represent her country at the Tokyo games this summer.

The 43 year old is taking part in the women's super heavyweight category, the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) said in a statement, along with four other weightlifters.

NZOC chief executive Kereyn Smith said in a statement: "As well as being among the world's best for her event, Laurel has met the IWF eligibility criteria including those based on IOC Consensus Statement guidelines for transgender athletes."

"We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play."

Hubbard has previously competed as a male weightlifter, but transitioned in 2012 and has been competing in the women's categories since 2017.

In 2018 she took part in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games when she suffered an arm injury, and then competed in the Roma 2020 World Cup.

Advertisement

She said she was "grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders".

"When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end. But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha carried me through the darkness."

"The last eighteen months has shown us all that there is strength in kinship, in community, and in working together towards a common purpose. The mana of the silver fern comes from all of you and I will wear it with pride."