As the first ever transgender athlete at the Olympics, all eyes will be on Laurel Hubbard this year when she competes for Team New Zealand's women's weightlifting squad. Here's everything you need to know about her debut in Tokyo.
Hubbard first started weightlifting at the age of 15 and had competed in men's events before coming out as transgender in 2013.
In 1988, she set a New Zealand men's junior record in what was then the newly established M105+ division, with snatch 135 kg, clean & jerk 170 kg, and total of 300kg.
Hubbard stopped weightlifting in 2001 at the age of 23. She didn't start competing again until she had gone through her gender transition and in 2017, when she entered her first international weightlifting competition.
Hubbard became the first trans weightlifter to win an international title for New Zealand, winning a gold medal after competing in the heaviest +90kg category at the Australian International & Australian Open in Melbourne. Her winning result was a 123 kg snatch and 145 kg clean & jerk, for a total of 268 kg at a bodyweight of 131.83 kg.
Hubbard qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, but an elbow injury meant she couldn't compete.
In 2019, Hubbard brought in two gold medals from the Pacific Games in Samoa and in 2020, she won the gold medal at the women's +87 kg event at the Roma 2020 World Cup in Rome, Italy.
Her debut at the Tokyo Olympics has caused some controversy among spectators and other athletes, but she's taken that in her stride and is ready to do New Zealand proud.
"I can't control what other people think, what they feel, what they believe and I'm not going to try. It's not my job to tell them what to think, what to feel, or what to believe," she told New Zealand Herald after qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in 2017. "All I can do is lift to the best of my ability and then let whatever happens, happen."
Hubbard will be competing in the women's +87kg category on Monday 2nd August 2021. She'll be in Group A, whose event starts at 11:50am BST.
UK viewers can catch all of the Olympics action on any of the following channels: BBC One, BBC iPlayer, Eurosport, Sky Sports and Discovery Plus.
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