Sports Transgender weightlifter Hubbard selected for Tokyo Olympics

05:55  21 june  2021
05:55  21 june  2021 Source:   thecanadianpress.com

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Laurel Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics after being selected for the New Zealand women's team at Tokyo 2020. The change meant athletes only had to attend four competitions rather than six because of the impact of Covid-19. Super-heavyweight Hubbard earned silver at the 2017 World Championship and now has a world ranking of 17. Several of her higher-ranked rivals will be missing from the Tokyo Games because only one athlete is allowed per country in each category.

The transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has effectively guaranteed a place in the women’s super heavyweight category. History and controversy is expected to be made at the Tokyo Olympics this summer after the transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was effectively guaranteed a place in the women’s super heavyweight category. While the 43-year-old has not yet been named in the New Zealand team, an International Weightlifting Federation insider confirmed to the Guardian that she would automatically qualify because of amended rules approved by the International Olympic

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Laurel Hubbard hefted 628 pounds (185 kilograms) in two lifts on the way to qualifying in the women’s super-heavyweight division for the Tokyo Olympics.

a close up of a person holding a baseball bat © Provided by The Canadian Press

That's heavy. But it's nowhere near the figurative weight Hubbard has carried to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.

Hubbard was among five weightlifters confirmed Monday in New Zealand's team for Tokyo. At 43, she will also be the oldest weightlifter at the games, and will be ranked fourth in the competition on Aug. 2 for women 87 kilograms (192 pounds) and over.

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Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will take part in the Tokyo Olympics . She said she felt 'grateful and humbled' after selection for New Zealand's team. Her inclusion was permitted after a change to official guidelines by the IOC. New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been selected to be part of the country's team for the Tokyo Olympic Games, becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event after qualifying requirements were modified.

The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to make history and headlines after being confirmed as the first transgender athlete to be selected to compete at an Olympic Games. The 43-year-old will be a live medal contender when she competes in the women’s super heavyweight category on 2 August. Hubbard lived as a male for 35 years, and did not compete in international weightlifting . But since transitioning she has won several elite titles. The New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive, Kereyn Smith, said Hubbard would be welcomed to the New Zealand team.

Hubbard won a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships and gold in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. She competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games but sustained a serious injury that set back her career.

“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. “When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end. But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha (love) carried me through the darkness.

“The last eighteen months has shown us all that there is strength in kinship, in community, and in working together towards a common purpose. The mana of the silver fern comes all of you and I will wear it with pride."

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(Reuters) - Belgian weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen said allowing transgender New Zealand athlete Laurel Hubbard to compete in the women's event at the Tokyo Olympics is unfair and that the situation is "like a bad joke". Hubbard , who competed in men's competitions before transitioning in 2013, is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics after weightlifting 's governing body modified qualifying requirements for Tokyo . The 43-year-old still has to satisfy the New Zealand Olympic Committee of her fitness and performance standards before selection but the

A lawyer and weightlifting expert has told critics of the transgender athlete heading for the Olympics to "hate the game" rather than the "player", with his views on the IOC echoed by other leading voices including a competitor. In a detailed yet succinct analysis of the complexities around the current rules for allowing transgender athletes to compete against rivals who were born as women, Mark House, a US attorney and International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Technical Official, said that he did not feel Laurel Hubbard , the New Zealander who was confirmed to be heading for Tokyo on Sunday, should

The additional burden Hubbard has had to carry is that her efforts have made her a flashpoint in the debate around the fairness of trans athletes competing in women’s events. She has faced anger, scorn and ridicule, and has been directly criticized by some opponents.

Competing as Gavin Hubbard, her birth name, Hubbard set national records in junior competition and had a best, combined snatch and clean and jerk total of 300 kilograms (661 pounds).

Hubbard transitioned eight years ago at the age of 35. She has since met all of the requirements of the International Olympic Committee’s regulations for trans athletes and fair competition.

The IOC policy specifies conditions under which those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category.

Among them is that the athlete has declared that her gender identity is female and that the declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.

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Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard with two medals after a competition. Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has suffered a major setback in her bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics . The 42-year-old athlete from New Zealand, who competed in men's weightlifting competitions as Gavin before She faces strong competition from Commonwealth Games champion Feagaiga Stowers, who didn't compete in Canberra, but will compete in Nauru. To qualify for the Tokyo Olympics , Hubbard must be the highest ranking weightlifter in Oceania. It would mark a huge achievement for the weightlifter , who

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was confirmed as the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympic Games Monday when Kiwi officials named her in the squad for Tokyo next month. New Zealand Olympic Committee chief Kereyn Smith said Hubbard , 43 — who was born male but transitioned to female in her 30s — had met all the qualification criteria for transgender athletes. Kayo is throwing open the doors to an epic amount of free live sport & shows on Kayo Freebies this June.

The athlete must also demonstrate that her total testosterone level is below a specific measurement for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.

Hubbard met those standards.

The IOC policy also states: “the overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition.”

Yet some within the weightlifting community argue the policy does not guarantee fair competition. The determining criteria — a maximum reading of 10 nanomoles per liter of testosterone — is as least five times more than a biological woman.

Belgium's Anna Vanbellinghen, who will likely compete against Hubbard, said the New Zealander's presence would be “like a bad joke” for women competitors.

“I am aware that defining a legal frame for transgender participation in sports is very difficult since there is an infinite variety of situations and that reaching an entirely satisfactory solution, from either side of the debate, is probably impossible,” Vanbellinghen has said. “However, anyone that has trained weightlifting at a high level knows this to be true in their bones: this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes.

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“Life-changing opportunities are missed for some athletes — medals and Olympic qualifications — and we are powerless. Of course, this debate is taking place in a broader context of discrimination against transgender people and that is why the question is never free of ideology.”

Similar sentiments have been expressed by other athletes and weightlifting officials, who claim Hubbard has a natural advantage in terms of physiology and strength.

But New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith said it's clear Hubbard has met all the criteria to compete in Tokyo.

“We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play," Smith said. "As the New Zealand Team, we have a strong culture of manaaki (hospitality) and inclusion and respect for all.

"We are committed to supporting all eligible New Zealand athletes and ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing, along with their high-performance needs, while preparing for and competing at the Olympic Games are met.”

Hubbard, whose father is a wealthy cereal manufacturer who became mayor of New Zealand’s largest city, seldom grants media interviews.

In 2017, she explained her approach to the criticism she faces on sporting and moral grounds to the New Zealand news website Stuff.

“All you can do is focus on the task at hand and if you keep doing that it will get you through,” Hubbard told Stuff. “I’m mindful I won’t be supported by everyone but I hope that people can keep an open mind and perhaps look at my performance in a broader context.

“Perhaps the fact that it has taken so long for someone like myself to come through indicates that some of the problems that people are suggesting aren’t what they might seem.”


More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Steve Mcmorran, The Associated Press

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