New Zealand weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics.
Hubbard will compete having been selected for New Zealand’s Tokyo Olympics team.
The news was announced by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) in a statement.
Hubbard, along with 4 other weightlifters, will participate in the women’s eighty-seven-kilogram category.
Aged forty-three, Hubbard will also be the oldest weightlifter at the games.
Hubbard is now able to compete at the Olympics as back in 2015, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) changed its rules.
The rule change allowed transgender athletes to compete if testosterone levels are below a certain threshold.
Athlete’s levels of testosterone should be 10 nanomoles per litre for at least twelve months prior to competition.
Previously, Hubbard competed as a male athlete.
She then transitioned in 2013 and returned to weightlifting several years later.
In a statement issued by the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Hubbard described herself as “grateful” and “humbled.”
“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders. When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games 3 years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end,” she said.
“But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha [love] carried me through the darkness.”
“The last eighteen months have shown us all that there is strength in kinship, in community, and in working together towards a common purpose. The mana [honor] of the silver fern comes from all of you and I will wear it with pride.”