Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Hints At Retirement Following Her Historic Olympic Debut

by : Daniel Richardson on : 04 Aug 2021 10:57
Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Hints At Retirement Following Her Historic Olympic DebutPA Images

Transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard has suggested she will be retiring from women’s weightlifting following her first Olympic Games.

In Tokyo, Hubbard became the first openly transgender athlete to compete at an Olympic Games in a different gender category to the one in which they were born.


Her participation in the games came to an end, however, after she failed to lift 120kg and failed in two efforts to lift 125kg in the snatch.

Laurel Hubbard (PA Images)PA Images

Following her exit, she commented that she was looking forward to ‘graceful obscurity’. Hubbard has now followed up on this statement and suggested she is ready to retire from weightlifting.

The 43-year-old told the press that time ‘just caught up with me’ before adding, ‘If we’re being honest, it probably caught up with me some time ago.’


The Telegraph reported that the athlete went on to say:

My involvement in sport is probably due if nothing else to heroic amounts of anti-inflammatories and it’s probably time for me to start thinking about hanging up the boots and concentrating on other things in my life.

When asked by a New Zealand broadcaster about how she dealt with the criticism she has faced, Hubbard responded, ‘That’s a good question. I’m not sure it’s possible for any person to really block out everything that is happening in the world but you do what you can and get on with it.’

Laurel Hubbard competes in Olympics (PA Images)PA Images

Hubbard’s inclusion in the games had proved particularly controversial because she set national records in junior competition under her given name and gender, before undergoing hormone therapy and coming out as trans in 2013. On the back of this, people felt that Hubbard had an unfair advantage when competing in the women’s tournament.

Nonetheless, this didn’t seem to be the case.

Speaking about the games, Hubbard said:

I’ve never been involved in sport because I’m interested in publicity or profile. If it means that I now begin to descend into graceful obscurity, I’m okay with that haven’t come here to change the world. I’ve come here because sport is part of me.


Elsewhere in the games, a Canadian footballer called Quinn who came out as nonbinary and transgender via Instagram last year is set to compete in the final of the women’s football competition. Team USA’s BMX cyclist Chelsea Wolfe is also transgender.

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Daniel Richardson

After graduating from university, Dan went on to work with a variety of tech startups and media outlets. These included the likes of The Hook, WhatCulture and Game Rant. Eventually, Dan found a home for his journalism at UNILAD.

Topics: Sport, Laurel Hubbard, LGBTQ+, Now, Tokyo Olympics, transgender, Weightlifting