A 43-year-old trans woman has qualified to compete in women's weightlifting later this summer at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Laurel Hubbard, who was born male and is from New Zealand, has been competing against women for years. The athlete's qualification for a spot on the nation's weightlifting team marks the first time a transgender-identifying athlete will compete in Olympic Games, multiple reports say.
"I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders," Hubbard said in a statement.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith said that Hubbard has met eligibility criteria, "including those based on [International Olympic Committee] Consensus Statement guidelines for transgender athletes.
"We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play," Smith stated.
"As the New Zealand Team, we have a strong culture of manaaki and inclusion and respect for all. We are committed to supporting all eligible New Zealand athletes and ensuring their mental and physical wellbeing, along with their high-performance needs, while preparing for and competing at the Olympic Games are met."
Hubbard, then 41, won gold at the 2019 Pacific Games, beating two women from Samoa, lifting 268 kilograms, which was seven and 13 kilograms more than the silver and bronze medal winners.
Beth Stelzer, the founder of Save Women's Sports and an active campaigner for preserving sex-segregated sports in state legislatures, said in an email to The Christian Post Monday that she wonders who will be brave enough to assert the basic facts of biology.
"What the Olympics is doing by allowing males to compete in the women's category is not only shameful but a mockery of the sport," Stelzer, a weightlifter herself, said.
"We cannot change our sex. A male cannot become a female by lowering their testosterone. Women are not a hormone level."
Stelzer said it is a "tragedy" that there could be "males on the women's podium at the Olympics."
Courtesy of The Christian Post