Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard. Credit: Photosport.

Hubbard was born in Auckland, the child of former Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard. She previously competed nationally in weightlifting competitions as Gavin Hubbard.

She made her international debut at the 2017 Australia Weightlifting Open in Melbourne where she won gold in the 90kg+ division. 

She also took the gold medal at the 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships.

In November 2017, she became the first transgender athlete to be named in a New Zealand Commonwealth Games team. 

In preparation for the Commonwealth Games, Laurel competed at the 2017 IWF World Senior Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, California.

She won two silver medals at the competition, the first medals ever won by a New Zealand weightlifter at a Senior World Championship.

Gold Coast 2018 will be Laurel’s first appearance at the Commonwealth Games where she will compete in the new 90kg+ weight class, introduced at the start of 2017 by the International Weightlifting Federation.

While there have been several critics of Hubbard competing in the women’s category, she has been cleared by the International Olympic Committee and complies with the conditions put in place for transgender athletes.