New Zealand’s 43-year-old Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has become the first-ever transgender athlete to take part in an Olympic.
“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement issued by the New Zealand Olympic Committee on Monday.
She will compete in the women’s 87-kg weightlifting category.
Hubbard is a silver medallist from the 2017 World Championships and finished sixth at the 2019 World Championships following an injury.
Hubbard has been eligible to compete at Olympics since 2015 when the IOC issued guidelines allowing any transgender athlete to compete as a woman provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.
“We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play,” Kereyn Smith, The New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive said in a statement.
But it has brought controversy between some groups as many advocated the inclusion of the athlete, whereas, some questioned this decision of IOC.
“It is a flawed policy from the IOC that has allowed the selection of a 43-year-old biological male who identifies as a woman to compete in the female category,” a group namely Save Women’s Sports Australasia, an advocacy group for women athletes said.