Laurel Hubbard makes history as first transgender athlete to compete at Olympics 2 months ago

Laurel Hubbard makes history as first transgender athlete to compete at Olympics

Laurel Hubbard becomes the first trans athlete to ever compete in an Olympic Games

Laurel Hubbard has made Olympic history by becoming the first transgender athlete to ever compete in the Games.

Advertisement

However, she failed with her first attempt at the 120kg in the snatch category and then failed to lift 125kg in her next two attempts, meaning that she exits at the first round.

The 43-year-old weightlifter from New Zealand is taking part in the women's 87+kg heavyweight competition, despite many still debating her inclusion in the category - including tournament rival, Anna Vanbellinghen.

Just hours before her Olympic debut, a petition that wanted transgender athletes banned from competing was pulled for "hate speech".

Hubbard was born male and had previously competed in the male classification; however, after transitioning to a woman back in 2012, she made the switch to women's weightlifting, winning gold medals in both the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa and the Roma 2020 World Cup.

Advertisement

Part of the discussion around her selection for Tokyo 2020 has also been coloured by the fact that other trans athletes - such as US runner, CeCe Telfer - have not been eligible for the tournament due to testosterone levels. Nevertheless, the debate rages on as to whether Hubbard herself should be allowed to participate in the women's competition.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) praise Hubbard themselves for her "courage and tenacity" in continuing to push on regardless of the supposed controversy, reminding fans that "There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation".

Hubbard's story is an incredible one - one which has been lauded in the LGTBTQIA+ community - but whichever side of the argument you choose to land on, it's one that might not have happened had others not paved the way before her. Our very own Chris Anderson recently did a video on the history of transgender athletes and how far their representation in sport has come.

Advertisement