Olympic Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Named Sportswoman Of The Year

by : Cameron Frew on : 02 Oct 2021 10:13
Olympic Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Named Sportswoman Of The YearAlamy

Ground-breaking transgender Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been named sportswoman of the year in New Zealand. 

The 43-year-old became the first openly transgender competitor in an individual event at an Olympic Games when she stepped onto the platform for the women’s +87kg weightlifting.


Unfortunately, she failed to record a successful lift, struggling to bag a 120kg snatch and two follow-up attempts at 125kg, thereby forfeiting her from the clean and jerk. Nevertheless, it was a historic feat to even compete, and it’s been recognised by her home nation.

Laurel Hubbard competes in Olympics (PA Images)PA Images

The University of Otago awarded Hubbard the title at the Blues awards on Tuesday, September 28. She’s the first transgender person to win the award in its 113-year history.

In a statement to the Otago Daily Times, Hubbard said she was ‘grateful for all of the support and kindness received from the teaching staff and students at Otago University’.


‘It is not possible for athletes to complete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha of friends, family and supporters. This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey,’ she added.

Laurel Hubbard made history in Tokyo (PA Images)PA Images

Hubbard’s place in the games sparked criticism from some corners, despite the fact she met the rules laid out by the International Olympic Committee. ‘I see the Olympic Games as a global celebration of our hopes, ideals and values and I would like to thank the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,’ she said after qualifying.

‘I know that from a sporting perspective I haven’t really hit the standards that I put upon myself and perhaps the standards that my country has expected of me. But one of the things for which I am profoundly grateful is that the supporters in New Zealand have given me so much and have been beyond astonishing,’ Hubbard said during the games.


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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: Sport, Laurel Hubbard, LGBTQ+, New Zealand, Now, Olympics


Otago Daily Times
  1. Otago Daily Times

    Otago University honours Hubbard