In 2018, Laurel Hubbard almost gave up her weight lifting career as she had a broken elbow. But guess what, she is now a trailblazer and inspiration to an entire LGBTQ community. As she becomes the first transgender athlete to ever compete in the Olympic games, 2020 in Tokyo. 2020 summer Olympic has been the talk of the town. Moreover, it has received much more attention and appraisal for its inclusiveness.
The guidelines for athletes who transitioned from female to male were in effect for the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, no openly transgender competed. Laurel Hubbard had competed in men’s events before coming out as transgender in 2013. While now she is selected for New Zealand’s team at the Tokyo Olympics, making her the first openly transgender competitor at the Olympics. She will be competing in the women’s category.
Before her gender completion, Hubbard set New Zealand junior records in 1998. Then she lifted a total of 300 kg weight (snatch 135 kg, clean & jerk 170 kg) in the newly established M105+ division. Eventually, in 2012, Hubbard transitioned into a female and became Laurel Hubbard.
In 2017, Laurel participated in Australian International & Australian Open in Melbourne, she competed at the heaviest 90 kg+ categories. Likewise, she stole the limelight winning the gold medal with a 123 kg snatch and 145 kg clean & jerk (total 268 kg) at a bodyweight of 131.83 kg. Hence she became the first trans woman to win an international weightlifting title for New Zealand.
Common Wealth Game is another most prestigious game event. Laurel qualified for Common Wealth Game, 2018. Unfortunately, she couldn’t compete due to an elbow injury during the competition. Most people told Laurel to quit weight lifting but her dedication didn’t tear away.
Laurel got selected by the New Zealand Olympic team on 21 June 2021. People are hyping her up as the news exactly came in pride month. She will be competing in the 87 kg women’s category. The 43 years of weight lifter is also the fourth oldest weight lifter in the Olympic games. This situation has pulled off a few controversies too. Even though people are hyping her up, Olympic participants think that she has an unfair advantage being a guy growing up. Belgian weightlifter Anna Vann Bellinghen explicitly called the situation a “bad joke”. Moreover, she claims that it was a very unfair decision to the rest of the competing participants. However, Laurel extends her immense regards to the Olympic games saying, “I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders.”