The trans weightlifter who has been making headlines for months, Laurel Hubbard, has spoken out about inclusivity
The IOC ruled that 43-year-old, Laurel Hubbard, who is a biological man, can compete for New Zealand in the women's weightlifting super-heavyweight category.
The IOC also ruled that her inclusion does not violate the current rules on the books.
Hubbard is now on track to be the first transgender athlete to ever compete in the games and will take part in weightlifting on Monday.
IOC boss Thomas Bach said during a new conference Reuters reported:
The rules for qualification have been established by the International Weightlifting Federation before the qualifications started. These rules apply, and you cannot change rules during ongoing competitions.
Bach stressed that the rules were currently under evaluation and would be reviewed at a later date.
Now, Hubbard herself has spoken out, praising the Olympic comittee for its inclusivity.
The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible.
Lilla Sági, operations director for the International Weightlifting Federation spoke about their decision to allow Hubbard to compete in the Olympics as a woman.
[Hubbard] complied with the qualification rules of the IWF, complied with all the requirements of the IWF's transgender policy. In these terms means that she declared herself as a female athlete and also that she has demonstrated to the IWF that her testosterone level in serum samples was below the required threshold … therefore, she is eligible to compete, she has every right to be here. And she deserves the most respect from the IWF community.
Hubbard will be the first openly transgender woman to compete at the Olympics https://t.co/an66JauL3u
— Telegraph Women's Sport (@WomensSport) July 31, 2021
Kereyn Smith, secretary general of New Zealand Olympic Committee, said Hubbard reflects the values of the committee and of New Zealand.
Our human rights policy talks about our values about inclusivity, respect, and integrity. So it's very important to us that if an athlete achieves a standard and is selected into their team that they are welcomed and taken care of and are able to perform to the very best of their ability.
Laurel has just arrived a couple of days ago. I just bumped into her at lunch and we understand that she's comfortable. She's getting ready. She well understands the size of the stage and is very grateful to be able to compete in this environment.
Despite the fact transgender athletes have been officially allowed to compete in the Olympic games as women since 2015, it remains a fierce debate.
New Zealand says huge focus on trans trailblazer at Tokyo Olympics: New Zealand's team said on Saturday they were helping weightlifter Laurel Hubbard cope with the "huge focus" as she prepares to become the first transgender Olympic athlete. Hubbard,… https://t.co/RRUOl3iO0B
— Japan Today News (@JapanToday) July 17, 2021
Many are championing Hubbard's inclusion into the Olympics. Many others find it massively unfair - as Hubbard was born as a man.