A transgender athlete will compete at an Olympic Games for the first time.
In a controversial decision, weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been named in New Zealand’s weightlifting team for next month’s Tokyo Games.
The 43-year-old Hubbard was born male, and competed in several men’s events, before coming out as a transgender in 2013.
As per existing International Olympic Committee rules, a trans-woman can compete in women’s events provided her testosterone levels are below 10 nanomoles per litre.
Hubbard meets that all-important criteria, but the decision of the New Zealand Olympic committee has triggered a worldwide debate with social media erupting in anger and disbelief.
Critics point out that Hubbard has numerous physical advantages from growing up as male that make gives her an added advantage against female-born athletes.
“For the sake of our daughters and female athletes worldwide, we must stop this insanity. Girls are GIRLS, Boys are BOYS!” tweeted one user.
For the sake of our daughters and female athletes worldwide, we must stop this insanity.
Girls are GIRLS, Boys are BOYS!https://t.co/s8nR8VUeyE
— Josh Mandel (@JoshMandelOhio) June 21, 2021
“Hard luck on the female athletes who have been training hard for this event. They will be victims of the trans lobby,” wrote another person.
Hard luck on the female athletes who have been training hard for this event. They will be victims of the trans lobby. https://t.co/ygk6akihoE
— Eeza Fakir N’Bomba 🇬🇶🇦🇿🇩🇿 💣 🏳️🌈 (@TheEyeofHorus9) June 21, 2021
One of the nastier posts read: “The Olympics – A freak show for sick people.”
The Olympics – A freak show for sick people. https://t.co/98eNroSnsv
— John Naylor (@JandJNaylor) June 21, 2021
Another netizen suggested after Olympics and Paralympics, it’s time for TransOlympics.
Olympics, Paralympics, time for TransOlympics?
No problem with transgender people competing, however let them compete on a level playing field with other transgender athletes?#transgenderinsport https://t.co/y1GRcX3Y2Z
— PieSeesMan (@pie_sees) June 21, 2021
“All (Real) Female competitors need to boycott this event,” said another angry person.
All (Real) Female competitors need to boycott this event
Retweet if you agree https://t.co/j6uQeUqdgG
— Dr. Hackenbush 🇬🇧 🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@maxalex66) June 21, 2021
#SouthAfricans are up in arms after confirmation of Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard participation in the Olympics as the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics after being selected by New Zealand for the women’s event at the Tokyo Games” tweeted African Global News.
Hubbard, who will be competing in women’s 87kg weightlifting category, became eligible for Olympics following IOC’s changed rules which allow transgender athletes to compete as women if their testosterone levels are below a certain threshold.
Testosterone is a hormone that increases muscle mass.