Great Britain

Who is Laurel Hubbard? Tokyo 2020 Olympics star


WEIGHTLIFTER Laurel Hubbard made history at the Olympic Games by competing as an openly transgender athlete.

Here's what we know about about her.

The 43-year-old New Zealander is the first transgender athlete to participate in an individual event at the Games following footballer Quinn's appearance in the Canadian men's football team at Tokyo 2020.

She went out of the games on August 2 after failing to record a successful snatch.

Who is Laurel Hubbard?

Hubbard was born male but changed her name eight years ago and underwent hormone therapy to transition before resuming weightlifting, a sport she abandoned more than a decade ago.

Transgender rights advocates have applauded the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) decision to allow, under certain criteria, athletes like Hubbard who identify as women to compete in women's events.

But some former athletes and activists believe her background gives her an unfair physiological advantage, and say her inclusion in the super-heavyweight 87+kg category undermines a protracted struggle for women to be treated equally in sport.

"Women have been able to have that competition for 16 years, and now you've got a male in there who will likely take a spot on the podium and take a place that should be going deservedly to a female competitor," said Katherine Deves, co-founder of Save Women's Sport Australasia.

Hubbard has not spoken with media since her place on the New Zealand team was confirmed, but in a statement on Friday she thanked the IOC "for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible."

What Olympic events is she competing in?

She's competing in the women's super-heavyweight weightlifting.

Since returning to competition, Hubbard has won seven international tournament gold medals.

After suffering an elbow injury when leading the 2018 Commonwealth Games, she thought her career was over but battled back and won Pacific Games gold in 2019 and finished sixth at the Worlds.

Laurel Hubbard becomes first transgender weightlifter to compete at Olympics after overcoming career-threatening injuru

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