Swen Pförtner / dpa / picture alliance via Getty Images
Laurel Hubbard has made history by becoming the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Summer Olympics. The New Zealand weightlifter failed to make it to the podium, after failing to advance to the final.
Competing in the over 87kg class on Monday, Hubbard struggled to lift 125kg (275lbs), knocking her out of the race. His official result is “not finished” as he withdrew after failing to record a clean lift in the starting section of the two-part competition.
Hubbard appeared to successfully lift the weight on his second of three attempts, but in a split decision, the judges ruled that he had not kept the bar steady over his head.
Despite failing to make it to the final round, Hubbard smiled and clasped his hands in a heart gesture before exiting the stage at the Tokyo International Forum.
“My performance was not what I expected, but I am humbled by the support I have received from so many people in New Zealand.” she said, adding: “I am aware that my participation has been controversial.”
“Thank you to the IOC for living up to the Olympic values and showing that sport is for everyone and that all types of people can lift weights,” said Hubbard.
In his emotional farewell, Hubbard also thanked Japan for hosting the Games, according to his country’s Olympic committee.
Trans athletes have reached new heights in Tokyo
Hubbard joins Canada’s Quinn, a national soccer team midfielder who is transgender and non-binary, in reaching new heights for trans athletes at the Tokyo Games. Quinn, a veteran of the women’s team that came out last year, recently became the openly trans first person to compete in an Olympic Games.
Hubbard made headlines when the International Olympic Committee authorized her to compete, a decision that has drawn both support and criticism. For his part, Hubbard has welcomed the opportunity to compete on the world stage while showing his true self.
“I congratulate the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,” he said. said friday. After Monday’s loss, Hubbard also thanked the International Weightlifting Federation, or IWF.
“They have been extremely supportive,” he said. “I think they have also shown that weight lifting is an activity open to all people in the world.”
She took 15 years without lifting weights
When he was 20 years old, Hubbard was a rising star in men’s weightlifting, but he quit the sport. she said recently, after struggling with “the pressure of trying to fit into a world that perhaps wasn’t really ready for people like me.”
He began making the transition in 2012 and, after a hiatus of more than 15 years, began working his way back to competitive weightlifting.
Hubbard, 43, is 10 years older than any other athlete who was in your Group A heat in Monday’s competition.
Gold was won by Chinese Li Wenwen, world record holder at the event. Sarah Robles, from the US team, won bronze. It is the second bronze for Robles, who in 2016 broke a long Olympic drought for weightlifting in the United States.