New Zealand weightlifter to be first transgender athlete to compete at Olympics

Wellington: New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was selected as the first transgender Olympic athlete after Kiwi officials made a groundbreaking call on “a highly sensitive and complex issue”.

“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,” New Zealand Olympic Committee chief Kereyn Smith said in a statement.

“As the New Zealand team, we have a strong culture of manaaki (caring) and inclusion and respect for all.”

Hubbard, who also competed as a male, became eligible to lift as a woman after showing testosterone levels below the threshold required by the International Olympic Committee.

She will contest the women’s +87kg category in Tokyo Olympics, an event in which she is currently ranked 16th in the world.

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