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Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Announces She Is Set To Retire After Olympics Debut

Jack Kenmare

| Last updated 

Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Announces She Is Set To Retire After Olympics Debut

Laurel Hubbard has announced her intentions to retire from professional weightlifting following her debut at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 43-year-old, who became the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics in a different category to which they were born, failed to progress to the final in Tokyo.

She failed to register a lift in the women's 87kg+ event.

Image credit: PA
Image credit: PA

Before competing in the competition, many questioned whether she should be allowed to take part after the International Olympic Committee approved her inclusion and praised her for qualifying.

Hubbard thanked everyone, including the IOC, for their support after she failed to progress to the final.

"My performance wasn't what I had hoped, but I'm humbled by the support I've received from so many people around New Zealand," she said after the event.

"I am aware that my participation has been controversial.

"Thank you to the IOC for living up to the Olympic values and showing that sport is for all and that weightlifting can be done by all types of people."

Days later and Hubbard has announced that "it's probably time" for her to retire from the sport.

"Age has caught up with me. In fact, if we're being honest it probably caught up with me some time ago," said Hubbard via RTE.

"My involvement in sport is probably due, if nothing else, to heroic amounts of anti-inflammatories, and it's probably time for me to start thinking about hanging up the boots and concentrating on other things in my life."

She also praised the IOC again for showing "moral leadership" at the games.

"I'm not sure that a role model is something I could ever aspire to be, instead I hope that just by being I can provide some sense of encouragement.

"I'm certain that a conversation needs to be had," she continued regarding the discussion of her competiting in Tokyo.

"Although we have rules at the moment, they will no doubt change and evolve as more is known about transgender athletes and what that means for participation in sport."

Hubbard explained how she still feels humbled to have taken part, even if it wasn't at her career-best.

"If anything I think I was just overwhelmed by the excitement of being on the Olympic platform. It's such a truly special place, not just for weightlifters," she told Sky Sport.

"I think for any Olympic athlete, competing at this level just unlocks a certain amount of adrenaline and I think I might have just over-cooked it slightly tonight.

"I'm so grateful. That injury that I had back in 2018 [during the Commonwealth Games] was so traumatic that I never thought I would compete again and, consequently, everything that's happened since then has just been a bonus and I think that's why it's hard for me to be too disappointed tonight."

Topics: Weightlifting, Tokyo Olympics, Laurel Hubbard, Athletics

Jack Kenmare
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