The Olympic dream is over for first transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard after she was eliminated from the women’s weightlifting competition.
Hubbard was knocked out of the tournament in the very first round after failing to make a single lift. She registered one failed attempt to lift 120kg and two failed efforts at 125kg.
“I KNOW THAT FROM A SPORTING PERSPECTIVE I HAVEN’T REALLY HIT THE STANDARDS THAT I PUT UPON MYSELF AND PERHAPS THE STANDARDS THAT MY COUNTRY HAS EXPECTED OF ME.
“BUT ONE OF THE THINGS FOR WHICH I AM PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL IS THAT THE SUPPORTERS IN NEW ZEALAND HAVE GIVEN ME SO MUCH AND HAVE BEEN BEYOND ASTONISHING.
“I’D LIKE TO THANK THE NEW ZEALAND OLYMPIC COMMITTEE – THEY HAVE SUPPORTED ME THROUGH WHAT HAVE BEEN QUITE DIFFICULT TIMES.
“I KNOW THAT MY PARTICIPATION AT THESE GAMES HAS NOT BEEN ENTIRELY WITHOUT CONTROVERSY BUT THEY HAVE BEEN JUST SO WONDERFUL AND I’M SO GRATEFUL TO THEM.”
Hubbard’s exit to some staggeringly talented female weightlifters shows that she didn’t have an unfair advantage.
IOC adviser Joanna Harper told Sky News:
“Yes, Laurel has advantages – but within this group of 14 women that she is competing against, Laurel is probably somewhere in the middle of the pack.
“She could theoretically finish anywhere from third to 14th – and isn’t that sort of the definition of fair competition that a lot of things could potentially happen?”
Fellow competitor Emily Campbell commented:
“It’s a controversial topic – but at the end of the day the rules have been set by the IOC and the IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) so she is allowed to compete.
“Obviously we will put all of our support behind Emily and it will be a great competition to watch.”
Campbell went on to win silver, with the gold medal going to China’s Li Wenwen.