New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is poised to become the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Games, a move that will reignite the debate on trans sport ethics.
The 43-year-old, born male but switched to female in her thirties, is on the verge of reaching the Tokyo Olympics under the new qualification rules imposed by the coronavirus.
Hubbard, who has also competed in men's competitions in the past, became eligible to compete in women's weightlifting after showing testosterone levels below the threshold required by the International Olympic Committee. The athlete was already the first transgender to participate in Australia's Commonwealth Games on Gold Coast in 2018, when she had to retire after suffering an elbow injury that nearly ended her career.
While the New Zealand team has yet to be named, officials said Hubbard is likely able to meet the new qualification criteria that have been simplified by the International Weightlifting Federation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "The NZOC can confirm that it is very likely that the revised International Federation (IF) qualification systems will allow a number of New Zealand weightlifters, including transgender Commonwealth Games athlete Laurel Hubbard, to be awarded a place in the IF quota for Tokyo 2020, "said the New Zealand Olympic Committee. (HANDLE).