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Laurel Hubbard to Make History as the First Openly Transgender Athlete to Compete in the Olympics!

It's a game-changing moment for the transgender community.

Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand competing in the Women's 90kg Final.

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will be the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. This is a history-making move by her nation of New Zealand that will help set the standard for future transgender athletes around the world. And her selection by the New Zealand Olympic Committee is a resounding endorsement when it comes to selecting the best athletes for the Olympics.

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Hubbard, who is 43 years old, will be the fourth-oldest weightlifter at the Olympics, according to The Guardian. She is seen as a top-rated contender for the women’s super heavyweight 87kg-plus category at the Tokyo Olympics. And it’s seen as a comeback of sorts after winning the 2017 women’s world championships and then injuring herself at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In an official statement reported by The Guardian, Hubbard said, “I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders.” She followed that up by saying, “When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end. But your support, your encouragement, and your ‘aroha’ [affection] carried me through the darkness.”

And like us, there are plenty of people celebrating Hubbard’s selection.

(image: Alex Pantling/Getty)

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.

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