Laurel Hubbard: Fellow weightlifter goes viral after addressing situation & its hypocrisy

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been subject to unyielding discrimination since she qualified to compete at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The New Zealand native made history this summer after becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in a different gender category at the Olympics.

However, Hubbard received abhorrent comments about her gender during her run in the women's +87kg weightlifting event.

The 43-year-old was told by online trolls that she was fielding an unfair advantage as she had transitioned from male to female in 2012, even though Hubbard met every guideline set by the International Olympic Committee. Like every other woman on the Tokyo Olympic weightlifting roster, Hubbard earned her place based on performance in the qualifiers.

Following the ongoing backlash on social media, fellow weightlifter and TikTok star Laura Mariel posted a video in response to a question about transgender athletes in sport.

"This is not the first time that I've gotten this question so I'd like to address it," she said in the clip. "For context, I'm a female weightlifter that competes in the heavyweight division and there's currently a transgender woman who's competing in the super heavyweight division, the division right above me, in the Olympics this week.

"I think a lot of people use this question as an excuse for their bigotry. A lot of people that are concerned about transgender women in sports have not given a flying f*** about me as a female athlete. You don't care about the inequalities in opportunities, in pay, in airtime... You don't care about the blatant misogyny that still exists within sports today.

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"Basically people who have not cared one bit about my wellbeing as a female athlete, and are probably the same people who have bullied me, are now concerned about my competitive opportunities as a female athlete because of transgender women."

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet, it might have been deleted.

Mariel has gone viral on both TikTok and Twitter, with thousands watching the video and many debating over the response she gave.

One supporter replied: "Most people asking this question want their biases against transgender people confirmed, not corrected. There is no actual answer that will satisfy their curiosity because they don't actually want an answer. It's a talking point."

A lot of others have voiced similar opinions and have applauded Mariel for speaking out. However, not all the responses have shown the positive change the video aimed for.

Many Twitter users have accused Mariel of dodging the question and not saying how she really feels. Others are simply relaying the abuse we have seen time and time again towards Hubbard.

Hubbard did not place during her event on Monday after failing to record a successful lift during the snatch. 

Despite the many online voices claiming she had an unfair advantage in the tournament, Hubbard was the only athlete in her category not to reach the clean and jerk. She has since announced she will likely be retiring from the sport.

Georgia Goulding

Interested in: Football, Boxing, Formula 1

Georgia has experience reporting and providing exclusives across a range of women's sports, working previously for the likes of Yahoo! Sport. She is a keen W Series and football follower and is passionate about giving athletes of all backgrounds a platform to tell their stories.