A Transgender Weightlifter’s Presence at the Games Prompts Discussions Over Inclusion and Fairness
By Moya Zhao
Laurel Hubbard is a weight lifter from New Zealand, who is also the first openly transgender woman competing in the Olympics, she will be made her first attempt on Monday. However, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding her competing in the games at all.
Hubbard had previously competed in competitions as a male prior to her transition which has caused inquiries over whether or not she has an unfair advantage as many advocates have hinted at. Others believe that the Olympics need to be inclusive towards more diverse groups of athletes.
Hubbard usually declines interviews, though she did agree to speak on Radio New Zealand where she stated that she didn’t see herself as a flag bearer for transgender athletes. “It’s not my role or goal to change people’s minds,” Hubbard said. “I would hope they would support me, but it’s not for me to make them do so.”
Since Hubbard’s arrival in Tokyo, she had been defended by the New Zealand Olympic committee. With the secretary stating that Hubbard is “quite a private person” and should focus solely on weight lifting at the moment.
“She’s an athlete,” Smith said in an interview on Friday. “She wants to come here and perform and achieve her Olympic dream and ambition.”
Hubbard has also gotten a lot of support from supporters of transgender athletes.
Chris Mossier is a race walker who is also the first openly transgender man to complete in a U.S. Olympic trials stated “this moment is incredibly significant for the trans community, for our representation in sport and for all trans people and nonbinary kids to see themselves and know that sport is a place for them,” Many others have also since come out to publicly speak up about their support for Hubbard.