Athletes Reject Awkward Question About Competing Against Transgender Weightlifter
Weightlifters competing against trans Olympian Laurel Hubbard have refused to be drawn into a controversy after being asked about their fellow competitor’s inclusion in the games.
In a post-competition press conference the three medallists in the women’s +87kg lifting event were asked how they felt about the fact that their sport had made history by being the first to feature a transgender athlete, and their response spoke a thousand words.
‘There was a historic night here with Laurel Hubbard competing as the first openly transgender in an individual event. I was wondering what you felt about that and what you felt that it took place in your sport,’ a reporter asked the three women.
Rather than allow themselves to become part of a heated political debate, the athletes – representing China, Great Britain and the United States – sat in silence for a number of seconds, before gold medallist Sarah Robles of the US rejected the question, simply saying, ‘No, thank you.’
It was an uncomfortable moment, and while those opposed to Hubbard’s inclusion have seized on Robles comments as a sign of her agreement, many have since criticised the journalist for attempting to draw attention away from the success of the three medallists.
‘Why make a moment about [these] 3 women, a circumstance to talk about someone who is not even there?!?!!’ one person tweeted.
Hubbard exited in the early stages of the competition after failing to register a clean lift, after exiting the venue to applause she later thanked her supporters in New Zealand, telling journalists, ‘I know that my participation at these Games has not been entirely without controversy but they have been just so wonderful and I’m so grateful to them.’
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