In a historic moment for international sports, weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to become the first trans athlete to compete at the Olympics after being selected by New Zealand for the women’s event at the Tokyo Games.
Hubbard is set to compete in the super-heavyweight 87+kg category at the Tokyo Games. She participated in men’s weightlifting competitions before transitioning in 2013.
Although the decision is likely to garner criticism from some athletes and organizers, Hubbard meets the official Olympic guidelines which state that a participant may compete as a woman if their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.
Despite criticism, Hubbard carries the support of her home country. Sports Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement, “We are proud of her as we are of all our athletes, and will be supporting her all the way.”
Transgender BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will also travel to Tokyo with Team USA, but is named as an alternate and therefore not guaranteed to compete.
Image source: Sportsnet