Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Transgender Olympian Laurel Hubbard’s dead silence at reporter’s question

New Zealand’s transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard cemented her place in history on Monday evening, but it led to an awkward moment at a press conference after her event.

The 43-year-old was competing in the women’s +87kg class, but failed on each of her three attempts in the snatch component of the competition. Her three unsuccessful attempts meant she did not progress to the clean-and-jerk phase and was knocked out.

China’s Li Wenwen ultimately won the gold medal, while Britain’s Emily Campbell and America’s Sarah Robles joined her on the podium.

Following the Olympic event, a journalist asked the three medallists: “It’s a historic night here with Laurel Hubbard competing as the first openly transgender in an individual event. I was just wondering what you felt about that, and that it took place in your sport.”

There was a lengthy silence before Robles took a sip from a bottle of water and eventually replied: “No thanks.”

Last month, Belgian weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen had described the decision to allow Hubbard to compete a the Olympics as a “bad joke”.

“Anyone that has trained weightlifting at a high level knows this to be true in their bones; this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes,” Vanbellinghen told Olympics news website insidethegames.

MUST READ  Australian softball team named for Tokyo Olympics after 13-year wait

“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.

“Life-changing opportunities are missed for some athletes — medals and Olympic qualifications — and we are powerless.”

While her appearance on sport’s biggest stage was short-lived, it was hailed by trans activists as a historic occasion for a marginalised community.

The intensely private Hubbard announced she will retire in the wake of her groundbreaking appearance at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Age has caught up with me. In fact if we’re being honest it probably caught up with me some time ago,” Hubbard said.

“My involvement in sport is probably due, if nothing else, to heroic amounts of anti-inflammatories, and it’s probably time for me to start thinking about hanging up the boots and concentrating on other things in my life.”

MUST READ  Javelin throw Olympian vows to auction off silver medal for humanitarian cause

Hubbard praised the IOC for showing “moral leadership” in adopting inclusive polices that allowed her to participate at the Games.

MUST READ  Javelin throw Olympian vows to auction off silver medal for humanitarian cause

“I’m not sure that a role model is something I could ever aspire to be, instead I hope that just by being I can provide some sense of encouragement,” she told reporters.

Critics argue athletes such as Hubbard, who was born male and transitioned to female in her 30s, have physical benefits hardwired into their bodies during their formative years.

These include greater muscle mass and lung capacity, leading to fears that female-born athletes could be forced to compete on an uneven playing field.

The IOC, under guidelines adopted in 2003, only allowed transgender participation for athletes who had undergone gender reassignment surgery but dropped the requirement in 2015, instead focusing on lower testosterone levels.

The governing body is set to release new guidelines on the issue after the Tokyo Games are completed.

Hubbard said she welcomed the discussion about the issues her debut had highlighted.

“I’m certain that a conversation needs to be had,” she said. “Although we have rules at the moment, they will no doubt change and evolve as more is known about transgender athletes and what that means for participation in sport.”

Latest news

Victoria gives $2.7 mn grant for food support to multicultural communities

The Victorian Government is ensuring culturally diverse Victorians doing it tough can still put food on the table by helping more multicultural organisations provide...

Victoria Premier condemns anti-lockdown protests

Victoria Premier Dan Andrews has condemned people for the acts of violence and disruption Melbourne has seen over the last two days. In an official...

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa becomes Deputy CM of Punjab

Newly inducted Deputy Chief Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa assumed charge in Chief Minister’s office (2nd Floor) at Punjab Civil Secretariat in the presence of...
MUST READ  Olympian Jess Fox shows how to repair kayak with a condom

Shreyas Talpade to direct and act in ‘SarCar Ki Seva Mei’

Actor Shreyas Talpade, who rose to fame with Subhash Ghai's Iqbal, is now trying his luck in the field of direction. After directing the...

Related news

Victoria gives $2.7 mn grant for food support to multicultural communities

The Victorian Government is ensuring culturally diverse Victorians doing it tough can still put food on the table by helping more multicultural organisations provide...

Victoria Premier condemns anti-lockdown protests

Victoria Premier Dan Andrews has condemned people for the acts of violence and disruption Melbourne has seen over the last two days. In an official...

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa becomes Deputy CM of Punjab

Newly inducted Deputy Chief Minister S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa assumed charge in Chief Minister’s office (2nd Floor) at Punjab Civil Secretariat in the presence of...

Shreyas Talpade to direct and act in ‘SarCar Ki Seva Mei’

Actor Shreyas Talpade, who rose to fame with Subhash Ghai's Iqbal, is now trying his luck in the field of direction. After directing the...

Young farmers to be mentored by old hands in Victoria’s new agri program

The Victorian Government is calling on young farmers to take their careers to the next level, with expressions of interest open for the 2022...

‘Friends Bubble’ of three children allowed during school holidays

Children and teenagers aged 18 years and under will be able to create a ‘friends bubble’ to allow home visits provided the adults in...

JobTrainer program: Timber mill workers retrained to work in Wagga Wagga

Around 50 timber mill workers in Wagga Wagga who were set to lose their jobs with the relocation of the Big River timber mill...

NSW records 1,022 new cases, 10 deaths; three LGAs in lockdown

NSW has recorded 1,022 new covid-19 cases and 10 deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the...