For the first time ever, a transgender athlete has qualified for an Olympic team. New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was selected for the national team on Monday and will be competing in the “super-heavyweight” category in the sport. Born biologically male and originally named Gavin, Hubbard transitioned in 2012 after competing as a male in juniors matches. Hubbard’s first competition after transitioning, in 2017, was a blowout. The local New Zealand Herald reported at the time that “Hubbard, 39, won the women’s over-[198-lbs.] division at the Melbourne event, setting four unofficial national records in the process. Hubbard lifted a combined total of [591 lbs.] — [42 lbs.] better than silver medalist Iuniarra Sipaia of Samoa.” This is a tragic wrong on women athletes and an embarrassment to all men.
It isn’t a coincidence that the first transgender athlete to make an Olympic team is a biologically male weightlifter, now competing in the female division. If you were a gambling man — or woman, they’re interchangeable, after all — you’d bet that the trailblazing transgender athlete in Olympic sport wouldn’t be a biological born male in gymnastics, nor a biological female in a male weightlifting division. You would make these assumptions, because in all likelihood, the transgender athlete breaking into a particular sport would be able to do so because of a distinct biological advantage over competitors. That’s the case for Hubbard, who, despite falling within the maximum limit of testosterone deemed acceptable for the International Olympic Committee, boasts an incontrovertible edge over the competition. And that competition, understandably, isn’t too pleased with being forced to face Hubbard in the lifelong quest for Olympic gold.