Kiwi transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has opened up for the first time about her thoughts on criticism of her competing in the female-super heavyweight class after her success at the world championships in the US.
Hubbard, 39, made New Zealand history claiming two silver medals in her first event at this year's world championships in Anaheim on Wednesday.
She spoke to 1 NEWS today in Auckland and said that she was mentally prepared for a backlash from critics.
"Look I think that every athlete has to develop a certain amount of toughness because when you are competing at this level you just can't let the distractions distract you," said Hubbard.
"I don't think I am any different from anyone else, I don't think I am any tougher - I just do what I have to do."
Hubbard will be the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in Australia next year.
She said she understands that not everyone agrees with her competing in the female class.
"I think the world has changed enough – not everyone supports me, not everyone accepts me but there are people out there that do, that's been great," said Hubbard.
"I just hope that no matter what people think about people in my situation that they treat people like me with respect because what more can you ask for."