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Laurel Hubbard becomes first openly trans woman to compete at Olympics

First trans athlete to compete at Olympics
First trans athlete to compete at Olympics 03:17

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made history Monday as the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics.

Hubbard, 43, competed in the women's super-heavyweight 87-kilogram weightlifting category in the Tokyo Games but did not advance after failing on her three attempted lifts. She was also the oldest lifter at the Games. 

Tokyo 2020 - Weightlifting
Laurel Hubbard from New Zealand competes in the Tokyo Olympics.  Swen Pförtner/picture alliance via Getty Images

Her presence in the Olympics was controversial for some who claimed Hubbard had an unfair advantage in the event, pointing to her previous experience in men's weightlifting competitions before transitioning. However, Hubbard met the International Olympic Committee and International Weightlifting Federation's eligibility requirements for athletes who transition, according to a June statement by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

The 2015 guidelines specify female transgender athletes can compete in the women's category if their total testosterone level is 10 nanomoles per liter in serum for at least one year before their first competition. Hubbard has been eligible to compete in the Olympics since the IOC released its guidelines.

Hubbard, who is from Auckland, won a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships and gold in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. She has battled back from a serious injury in 2018 that threatened to cut her career short. 

Hubbard is not the only trans athlete to make history during the Tokyo Olympics. Quinn, a midfielder on Canada's women's national soccer team, is also set to make history as the first trans nonbinary athlete to be a medalist in the Olympics after the team beat the U.S. in the semifinals on Monday.

Gender: The Space Between 30:54
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