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Transgender Weightlifter Thanks IOC For Making Olympic Games ‘Inclusive And Accessible’

by : Emily Brown on : 31 Jul 2021 12:31
Transgender Weightlifter Thanks IOC For Making Olympic Games 'Inclusive And Accessible'North Sport Olympic Weightlifting/Facebook/PA Images

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for making the games ‘inclusive and accessible’ as she prepares to enter the competition next week. 

Hubbard is set to compete in the women’s over-87kg weightlifting category on Monday, August 2, when she will make history as the first transgender weightlifter to take part in the Olympics.

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The 42-year-old’s involvement in the games has been a source of controversy, with some arguing that she has an unfair advantage as a transgender woman, however she is able to compete under the rules set out by the IOC, which were established in 2015.

Laurel Hubbard (PA Images)PA Images

The rules state that transgender women can compete in the women’s category without gender reassignment surgery as long as they keep their total testosterone level in serum below 10 nanomoles per litre.

At a press conference on Friday, Hubbard expressed her gratefulness to the IOC in a statement released through the New Zealand Olympic Committee, saying, ‘The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible.’

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Meanwhile, the IOC has praised Hubbard for her ‘courage and tenacity’ as she prepares to take part in the games, with the organisation’s medical and science director, Dr Richard Budgett, saying, ‘Everyone agrees that trans women are women’.

Olympic rings (PA Images)PA Images

Commenting on her involvement, per The Guardian, Budgett said:

To put it in a nutshell, the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015. There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation.

So Laurel Hubbard is a woman, and is competing under the rules of her federation, and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games.

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The doctor went on to note that each sport ‘has to make [its] own assessment depending on the physiology of that sport, so that they can ensure there is fair competition’, while also ensuring everyone is able to ‘take part in the sport they love’.

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, LGBTQ+, Now, Olympics, Tokyo, transgender, Weightlifting

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The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    IOC praises weightlifter Laurel Hubbard before transgender athlete’s Olympic debut