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.
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.
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.
Laurel Hubbard becoming the first transgender athlete in the Olympics will be meaningful – to the trans community as a whole, but to me specifically, as I’ve spent over the last decade of my life trying to lay the groundwork for this moment.
I am so incredibly proud of her.
— The Chris Mosier (@TheChrisMosier) June 21, 2021
Awesome achievement, Laurel Hubbard. Well done, and I hope you have an amazing competition at the Olympics
— Gina Rangi (@GinaRangi) June 21, 2021
I am in awe of Laurel Hubbard’s courage. This is such an incredibly important decision for moving towards more inclusive sport 🏳️⚧️🌈💜Congrats to Laurel & other qualifying athletes. https://t.co/5nzUb2EKOr
— Dr Lynzi Armstrong (@DrLynziA) June 20, 2021
Congrats to Laurel Hubbard, my fiancé and I will be cheering you on! #Tokyo2020
— toenzy🐢 (@toenzyspace) June 21, 2021
Congratulations Laurel Hubbard We know you will wear the Fern with Pride
And Happy #Pride2021. https://t.co/7VYV6vkIkO
— BronWynHaught 🗡🛡👼 📫 BeaverAF#BringWynonnaHome (@EarpBronwyn) June 21, 2021
Laurel Hubbard becoming the first transgender athlete at the Olympics is a tremendous accomplishment, yet so many people will fixate on characterizing her participation as wrong, unfair, etc.
I will always cheer for trans folks instead of finding ways to negate their successes. pic.twitter.com/uOHtHLlMnG
— Serena Daniari (@serenajazmine) June 21, 2021
1/2 Congratulations to the three women weightlifters named in the NZ Olympic Team this morning: Kanah Andrews-Nahu (women’s -87kg), Laurel Hubbard (women’s +87kg), Megan Signal (women’s -76kg). Great to see NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith demonstrating true leadership at announcement!
— Holly Thorpe (@hollythorpe_nz) June 20, 2021
Protect Laurel Hubbard. https://t.co/QiinpmuIGH
— Hulque (@AJFitzwater) June 21, 2021
Congratulations to Laurel Hubbard for her achievement in representing transgender athletes! https://t.co/XJzBm5YywI
— Scott Patrick 🇵🇸 (@ScottPatrickPhD) June 21, 2021
(image: Alex Pantling/Getty)
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