New Zealand’s decision to choose a trans female to represent the country in the female weight lifting event at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo has caused a bit of an uproar.
Prior to transitioning to female in 2013, Hubbard, 43, had competed as a male weightlifter. The Olympics allows transgender females to compete provided their testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per litre for 12 months prior to competition.
However, many believe this does not negate the advantage that biological males receive going through puberty, resulting in larger muscle mass and heavier bones.
Sharon Davies who is representing Britain in swimming at the Olympics commented that being born a biological male gives Hubbard a 30% over biological females:
Belgian weight lifter, Anna Vanbellinghen, described Hubbard’s participation as a ‘bad joke’ adding:
“Life-changing opportunities are missed for some athletes — medals and Olympic qualifications — and we are powerless. Of course, this debate is taking place in a broader context of discrimination against transgender people and that is why the question is never free of ideology.”
According to reports, when other New Zealand female weightlifters publicly stated their concerns about Hubbard’s unfair advantage, they were told to keep quiet.
READ: Laurel Hubbard is the first transgender athlete to compete in Olympics AND ‘Biology in sport matters’: British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies hits out at decision to allow transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to compete in Tokyo