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First Transgender Woman Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard’s Historic Olympics Journey Ends

by : Emily Brown on : 02 Aug 2021 13:21
Laurel Hubbard Praised After Becoming First Transgender Woman To Compete In Olympic Weightlifting FinalPA Images

Laurel Hubbard has been praised after becoming the first transgender weightlifter to compete in the Olympics. 

The athlete made history today, August 2, when she stepped onto the stage at Tokyo 2020 to take part in the women’s +87kg category.

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Her appearance at the Games comes after a wealth of controversy surrounding her involvement, with some arguing she had an ‘unfair advantage’ as a transgender competitor while others argued she had every right to take part as she meets the rules laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Laurel Hubbard competes in Olympics (PA Images)PA Images

Hubbard has ultimately been knocked out of the Games after failing to complete any of her three snatch lifts, though her appearance has still been met with praise by those supporting her involvement, with the athlete receiving a round of applause at the Games.

One Twitter user wrote: ‘Ah bad luck Laurel Hubbard. But the point is, you made history by being a trans athlete at the Olympics. That is worth more than any medal.’

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In a statement released through the IOC on Friday, Hubbard commended the organisation for its ‘commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible’, and some have shared a similar sentiment with the athlete herself by saying she has ‘opened the door for a number of other trans athletes.’

One comment read: ‘Laurel Hubbard we are so proud of you!! Despite everything going on you went out there and did your best and that’s all we could ask for. You’ve opened the door for a number of other trans athletes. You’re incredible.’

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Another said: ‘That’s the end of this journey, but she gave it absolutely everything. Incredibly proud of Laurel Hubbard as the first trans woman to compete for a medal at the Olympic Games. She won’t be the last.’

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Hubbard’s efforts in the Games saw her take on the 120kg weight before having two attempts at the 125kg. Though she appeared to successfully lift her first 125kg, two of the three judges disallowed it for a bending of the elbow.

Without completing a valid lift, Hubbard will finish at the bottom of the competition.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Sport, Laurel Hubbard, Olympics, Tokyo, transgender, Weightlifting