Laurel Hubbard to become first transgender athlete at Olympics

Laurel Hubbard has been named in the New Zealand Olympic weightlifting team and will become the first transgender athlete to compete at the games. 

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Hubbard, David Liti, Kanah Andrews-Nahu and Megan Signal will be heading to Tokyo. Source: 1 NEWS

Hubbard, 43, who broke her arm at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, says she has been "humbled by the kindness and support" shown to her by New Zealanders.

“When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end. But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha carried me through the darkness," she said in a statement.

“The last eighteen months has shown us all that there is strength in kinship, in community, and in working together towards a common purpose. The mana of the silver fern comes from all of you and I will wear it with pride.”

The head of the NZOC Kereyn Smith said Hubbard has "met the IWF eligibility criteria including those based on IOC Consensus Statement guidelines for transgender athletes".

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Kereyn Smith said Hubbard will have plenty of support and meets the requirements needed to compete in Tokyo. Source: 1 NEWS

"We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play." 

Hubbard, who will compete in the over 87kg classification, transitioned in 2012 and her potential inclusion in the NZ team has proved highly controversial. 

Laurel Hubbard. Source: Photosport

She was named in a five-strong New Zealand weightlighting team, alongside Kanah Andrews-Nahu (women’s -87kg), Megan Signal (women’s -76kg), David Liti (men’s +109kg) and Cameron McTaggart (men’s -81kg).