Transgender weightlifter Hubbard out of Olympic final

By: AFP      Published: 05:45 PM, 2 Aug, 2021
Transgender weightlifter Hubbard out of Olympic final

Pioneering transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard crashed out of her Tokyo Olympics final Monday after botching all three of her lift attempts in the snatch section of the +87kg category.

The 43-year-old New Zealander made history in becoming the first female transgender Olympian but fell out of medal contention early, making a heart gesture to the spectator-free arena.

She made a brief statement to reporters after bowing out, thanking Japan for hosting the Games in difficult circumstances and the sporting organisations that made her Olympic campaign possible.

"Of course, I'm not totally unaware of the controversy that surrounds my participation in these Games and, as such, I'd like to thank the IOC for really affirming its committment to the principles of Olympism and establish that sport is for all people and is inclusive, accessible," she said.

"And the International Weightlifting Federation have been extraordinary."

Hubbard was born male and competed as a man before transitioning to female in her 30s, taking up the sport again after meeting IOC guidelines on reduced testosterone for transgender athletes.

Her presence in Tokyo is a groundbreaking move that Olympic chiefs say makes the Games more inclusive, but critics fear will undermine women's sport.