Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to Become First Trans Athlete to Compete at Olympics

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to become the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics after being selected for the New Zealand women’s team on June 21.

Hubbard will compete in the women’s 87-kilogram category on Aug. 2 after previously competing in men’s weightlifting competitions before transitioning in 2013.

Hubbard has been eligible to compete in the Olympics as a transgender athlete since Nov. 2015, when the International Olympic Committee changed its guidelines to allow athletes who transition from male to female to compete in the women’s category if their total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months.

“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement after being selected for the team.

New Zealand Olympic Committee Chief Executive Kereyn Smith welcomed Hubbard to the team, describing her as “among the world’s best for her event.”

“As the New Zealand Team, we have a strong culture of manaaki [caring about others] and inclusion and respect for all. We are committed to supporting all eligible New Zealand athletes and ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing, along with their high-performance needs, while preparing for and competing at the Olympic Games are met,” Smith said.

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand President Richie Patterson said that they look forward to supporting Hubbard in her final preparations towards Tokyo.


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