Laurel Hubbard is set to become the first openly transgender athlete to compete in a different gender category to that which they were born at an Olympic Games.
The New Zealand weightlifter will be contesting the women’s over-87 kilogram division, coming up against China’s world record holder Li Wenwen, Sarah Robles of the United States, and Emily Campbell of Great Britain.
When will Laurel Hubbard be competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
The women’s over-87 kilogram contest begins tomorrow at Tokyo International Forum. Hubbard will be competing at 11:50 BST.
She will go against Li, Robles, Campbell, Australia’s Charisma Amoe-Tarrant, Indonesia’s Nurul Akmal, Austria’s Sarah Fischer, Verónica Saladín of the Dominican Republic, Lee Seon-mi of South Korea, and Tonga’s Kuinini "Nini" Manumua.
Hubbard will have the chance to win three medals – in the snatch, clean and jerk, and for her overall total.
Who is Laurel Hubbard?
The 43-year-old Hubbard transitioned from male to female in 2012. Prior to her transition, she had competed in domestic men’s competitions and was a national record holder as a junior. She quit weightlifting in 2001 at the age of 23.
Hubbard returned to weightlifting as a woman, contesting her first international event in 2017. She earned a world silver medal in the over-90kg division that year, but suffered a serious elbow injury at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Despite fearing her career was over, Hubbard battled back and won a gold medal at the 2019 Pacific Games. She is considered an outside chance for a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Hubbard meets the eligibility standards set by the International Olympic Committee, and has been praised for her "courage and tenacity" to take to the stage in Tokyo. She has also been supported by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and fellow competitor Amoe-Tarrant.
"I have so much respect for her and wish her and the other lifters the best and hope we can all come together and enjoy the Olympics," Amoe-Tarrant said.
Are there other transgender athletes competing at the Olympics?
There are two other "out" trans athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Canadian footballer Quinn was born biologically female but now identifies as transgender, and uses the pronouns "they/them". Quinn has played four times for Canada in the women’s football tournament, and is likely to feature against the US in the semi-finals tomorrow.
BMX cyclist Chelsea Wolfe travelled to Tokyo as a reserve athlete but did not feature. Skateboarder Alana Smith, who identifies as non-binary, also competed in last week’s women’s street event.News Now - Sport News