Tokyo, Japan (WNEWS)- Laurel Hubbard, who was born a male who identifies as a transwoman, has qualified for a spot on New Zealand’s women’s weightlifting team for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. Hubbard, who is 43, will also be the oldest Olympian to compete.
Hubbard will compete on August 2 in the super-heavyweight 87+ kilogram category.
This will be the first time that the world will see a biological male competing against biological women in the Olympic Games.
It was rumoured that Hubbard would automatically qualify for the games this year. In May, “an International Weightlifting Federation insider confirmed to the Guardian that she would automatically qualify because of amended rules approved by the International Olympic Committee.”
That insider told the Guardian that “while teams did not have to be named until 5 July, under the new qualification rules, which had come into effect after several competitions were lost because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hubbard was sure of a place in Tokyo if fit.”
Hubbard took home gold at the 2019 Pacific Games in the women’s weightlifting category, besting two young Samoan women. Hubbard, then 41 years old, held the gold standing atop the highest podium, while flanked by Samoa’s Commonwealth Games gold medalist Feagaiga Stowers and Iuniana Sipaia, winners of the silver and bronze, respectively.
Hubbard lifted 268 kg, which was 7 kg and 13 kg more than her closest competitors. For comparison, the men’s Gold Coast competition was won with a lift of 330 kg. Hubbard completed prior to transition but was not nearly as successful as when competing in the women’s category.
Hubbard transitioned at the age of 35 after entering adulthood as a male and retained all the advantages of having grown up male. Hubbard’s 2012 transition enabled her to win many titles over the biological women for whom the competitions were made.
“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement, according to the BBC.
Hubbard transitioned at the age of 35 after entering adulthood as a male and retained all the advantages of having grown up male.