New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard competed in the women’s +87kg weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, and unfortunately for her, she failed miserably.
In the 43 year-old weightlifter’s first attempt, she tried to lift 120kg and failed, according to Daily Wire. In Hubbard’s second attempt, she managed to lift a very shaky 125kg, but even one of the female commentators expressed shock that this lift was not challenged on an appeal.
On her third attempt, Hubbard was unable to lift the 125kg, meaning she was eliminated from the competition.
JUST IN – Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics, is out of the women's competition early after failing on three lifts. pic.twitter.com/sNEszFObif
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) August 2, 2021
Hubbard was born a biological male and spent years competing against men before she came out as transgender at the age of 35. At 43 years of age, she was much older than any of her female competitors at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Female weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen previously slammed the idea of Hubbard competing against women at the Olympics, calling it “a bad joke.”
“I understand that for sports authorities nothing is as simple as following your common sense, and that there are a lot of impracticalities when studying such a rare phenomenon, but for athletes the whole thing feels like a bad joke,” Vanbellinghem said.
Despite this, Hubbard was given the full support of the Olympics. Last week, International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical and science director Dr. Richard Budgett praised her and claimed “everyone agrees that trans women are women.”
“To put it in a nutshell, the IOC had a scientific consensus back in 2015,” Budgett explained. “There are no IOC rules or regulations around transgender participation. That depends on each international federation. So Laurel Hubbard is a woman and is competing under the rules of her federation, and we have to pay tribute to her courage and tenacity in actually competing and qualifying for the Games.”
“There are lots of aspects of physiology and anatomy, and the mental side, that contribute to an elite performance. It’s very difficult to say, ‘yes, she has an advantage because she went through male puberty,’ when there’s so many other factors to take into account,” he added.
“It’s not simple,” Budgett continued. “Each sport has to make their own assessment depending on the physiology of that sport so that they can ensure there is fair competition, but also the inclusion of everyone – whether they’re male or female – so they are able to take part in the sport they love.”