New Zealand weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, is set to become the first out trans Olympian, with the 43-year-old recently qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. According to Reuters, Hubbard transitioned in 2013, and has been eligible to compete in the Olympics since 2015 after a change in guidelines meant trans women could participate providing their testosterone levels were below 10 nanomoles per litre.
Although Australia’s weightlifting federation sought to block Hubbard from competing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, organisers rejected the move. In a 2017 interview with Radio New Zealand, Hubbard discussed the criticism, saying: “If I try and take that weight on board it just makes the lifts harder…I am who I am. I don’t want to change the world. I just want to be me and do what I do.”
The New Zealand Olympic Committee is backing Hubbard’s right to compete, and USA Weightlifting has also shown support for her, saying: “We respect the rules established by the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Olympic Committee for qualification and will be focusing on assisting our athletes to compete against all those who are qualified for the Tokyo Games.”