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Laurel Hubbard Becomes First Transgender Athlete To Compete At The Olympics

Alex White


Laurel Hubbard Becomes First Transgender Athlete To Compete At The Olympics

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has made history after being backed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be part of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Hubbard, 43 years old, first announced in June that she was the first transgender athlete to be selected for the Olympics.

She said: "I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Whilst this announcement did cause some backlash, the IOC president Thomas Bach reiterated the rules that changed in 2015 which meant that transgender women can compete in the Olympics as long as testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per litre for at least 12 months before their first competition.

Bach mentioned that these rules had been "established by the International Weightlifting Federation before the qualifications started" and added: "These rules apply, and you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions."

Despite many advocates for transgender inclusion, some scientists have suggested that there is an advantage for those who have gone through puberty as a male since there is a greater chance of having a higher bone and muscle density.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Bach revealed that the rules are reportedly set to be reviewed so that guidelines are more clear in the future and said: "At the same time the IOC is in an inquiry phase with all different stakeholders... to review these rules and finally to come up with some guidelines which cannot be rules because this is a question where there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It differs from sport to sport.

"This is what all the athletes of the world are relying on: that the rules are being applied."

The IOC president did not specify if he backed Hubbard's inclusion and instead reiterated that that rules will be constantly reviewed.

The Tokyo Olympics are set to kick off with the opening ceremony on Friday 23 July.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Weightlifting, olympics, Laurel Hubbard, Tokyo

Alex White
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