New Zealand Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Could Become First Transgender Olympian

by Brendan Walker

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday May 7, 2021

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)
New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)  

World champion New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard could make history, potentially representing Oceania as the Olympic's first transgender athlete, according to CBS Sports.

Having performed exceedingly well in qualifiers, Hubbard is on pace to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games ahead of the May 31 deadline.

The New Zealand Athletic committee has been coy about Hubbard's likelihood for selection, saying in a statement that they are "not in a position to comment on the likelihood of any athlete's selection until we have the necessary evidence."

Hubbard began her transition in her mid-30s and has been on the international circuit ever since. Her accomplishments include finishing second place at the 2017 world championships, and sixth place in 2019. She currently ranks at 16th place in olympic qualifying.

Typically, the top eight lifters are automatically given Olympic spots, and then each continent is slotted in spots that don't have someone in the top eight.

Weightlifting abides by the International Olympic Committee's regulations on transgender athletes, which allows people who transitioned to compete if their total level of testosterone in serum is below 10 nanomoles per liter for a year. Additionally, the athlete must keep their declared gender identity for at least four years after it has been declared.

The news comes as many states in America pass measures that prohibit trans students from participating in sports.

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