All eyes are on weightlifting and Laurel Hubbard this Monday in Tokyo. If she is the oldest weightlifter in the Japanese capital at 12, and the New Zealander is also chances of medals, Laurel Hubbard will especially become, this Monday, the first transgender athlete to participate in the Olympic Games. In the category of + 50 kg, the athlete had to meet the criteria of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be able to be present, which was not enough to silence the critics on its legitimacy.
The IOC’s demands criticized Formerly named Gavin, Laurel Hubbard perfectly met the IOC’s requirements to be able to compete in women. The New Zealand woman must have had a testosterone level below nanos moles per liter of blood for one period of twelve consecutive months. Hubbard therefore does not have a “disproportionate competitive advantage” in the words of the International Olympic Committee. The possibility for transgender people to be present at the Olympics is open from Athens in 1976, but Hubbard is the first to seize this opportunity.
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News of the day: Laurel Hubbard 🏋️♀️
The weightlifter of 12 years old, who started her gender transition in 2012, was confirmed as a female athlete after showing lower testosterone levels than allowed. pic.twitter.com/Co1IojPp6r
— Paris 2024 (@Paris 2024) August 1, 2021 A historic participation that makes a lot to speak. “Laurel Hubbard is a woman and competes under the rules of her federation. We must pay tribute to his courage and tenacity, ”said IOC Medical Director Richard Budgett. The Olympic Committee remains strongly criticized for its criteria considered insufficient. A regulation which forces, however, the Namibian Christine Mboma to be deprived of 87 m at the Games, due to a rate too high testosterone. “There has to be a happy medium to get what we need, and whatever that balance is, it will likely be criticized by some. This will not be the ultimate solution “, replied the spokesperson Christian Klaue.
A participation criticized by its competitors Wondering about his identity from his teenage years Hubbard did not begin his transition until 2012. The athlete has also already participated in men’s competitions at a younger age without ever reaching an international or even national level. “I thought to myself that, maybe, if I tried to do something very manly, I was going to become it, but it did not turn out like that”, explained Hubbard to the public radio station Radio New Zeland. .
Features that place the Kiwi athlete all the more in the center of attention among weightlifters. Tracey Lambrechs, for example, changed category not to face Hubbard: “By transitioning to such a late age, we retain the benefit of having had male testosterone levels for a very long time,” said the New Zealand woman in Team columns. “For example, no other potential medalist in Tokyo is in his 40s. ”
” I will not be supported by everyone ” The participation of transgender people has been the subject of regular controversy in sports. Even female sport icon Martina Navratilova expressed reservations about including these athletes who would hinder the development of sport among women: “I am happy to address a transgender person the way they want. , but I wouldn’t like to have to compete against it. It wouldn’t be fair. »Comments shared by Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic decathlon champion in 400 who became a woman in 2015: “It’s just not fair. ”
Doubts that don’t make the Australian tremble more than that:” All you can do is concentrate on task at hand and if you keep doing it, it will get you through. I am aware that I will not be supported by everyone, but I hope that people can keep an open mind and maybe look at my performance in a larger context ”, explained the principal concerned in 2017. Appointment for history, this Monday from 12 h 50.