Transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard is set to make Olympic history on Monday as she will become the first openly transgender woman to compete.
But the New Zealand weightlifter has been subject to criticism online, and the New Zealand Olympic Committee are keen to protect their athletes.
Spokesperson for the New Zealand team, Ashley Abbott, said:
‘Certainly we have seen a groundswell of comment about it and a lot of it is inappropriate,’ she told reporters. ‘Our view is that we’ve got a culture of manaaki (inclusion) and it’s our role to support all eligible athletes on our team.
‘In terms of social media, we won’t be engaging in any kind of negative debate.’
‘As an organisation we would look to shield our athlete, or any athlete, from anything negative in the social media space,’
‘We don’t condone cyberbullying in any way.’