It didn’t last long, but it was important. Hubbard was unable to perform any of her first three lifts on Monday night, which excluded her from the medal race in the women’s over 87 kilogram division that was ultimately won by China’s Li Wenwen. Hubbard made a heartfelt gesture to the audience with his hands before leaving the competition arena.
Even without finishing an elevator, she was a trailblazer for transgender athletes.
While the New Zealander isn’t the only transgender athlete competing at the Tokyo Games, she has been away for years and has gained attention as a weightlifting medal contender.
“Of course, I’m not quite unaware of the controversy surrounding my participation in these Games,” said Hubbard after leaving competition. “And, in this capacity, I would particularly like to thank the IOC, for, I think, really affirming its commitment to the principles of Olympism, and establishing that sport is something for everyone. It is inclusive. It is accessible. “
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Hubbard also thanked the International Weightlifting Federation, because “they too have shown that weightlifting is an activity open to all people of the world”, and the Japanese people for hosting the Games under extraordinary circumstances during the pandemic of COVID-19.
Hubbard received applause and also applauded his fellow athletes when they were introduced on stage. Returning to competition, she took a moment to close her eyes, smile and take a deep breath. She overbalanced on her opening weight of 120 kilograms, taking the bar behind her shoulders.
His second effort of 125 kilograms – a weight Hubbard has often handled in previous competitions – was declared invalid by a majority decision of the referees. With teammates and New Zealand staff shouting encouragement, the third attempt was almost a repeat of the first.
IOC to release new ‘framework’ for trans athletes
Athletes are eliminated if they do not register at least one valid lift in each of the two parts of the competition.
Li’s victory gave China their seventh gold medal in weightlifting at the Tokyo Games. Her rivals never came close to the winning total of 320 kilograms, with Emily Campbell finishing 37 kilograms behind for silver. She became the first British woman to win a weightlifting medal.
Sarah Robles of the United States repeated her bronze of 2016 with 282, becoming the first American woman with two weightlifting medals. Robles was tough for second place, but his last lift was declared invalid for the elbow movement. “The referees should do their job, therefore they do it. It’s really, really strict, but if there’s a time to be strict it should be at the Olympics, ”Robles said.
The International Olympic Committee in 2015 developed a set of recommendations to include trans athletes. Many sports organizations, including the IWF, have implemented similar policies based on these recommendations. Different sports are allowed to define their own specific policies.
In weightlifting, this includes a requirement for athletes to show that their testosterone is below a certain level after the transition, a requirement that Hubbard met. She won a silver medal at the 2017 world championships, but had not competed for a year and a half before Tokyo as the coronavirus pandemic hit the competition calendar.
“My performance was not what I had hoped for, but I am touched by the support I have received from so many people in New Zealand,” Hubbard said in a statement released by the New Zealand team. .
The IOC will release a new “framework” for the eligibility of trans athletes in the coming months. This document should take into account new scientific studies published since the last major review in 2015. This will serve as the basis for sports to develop their own updated policies.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has acknowledged the sometimes bitter discussions about what conditions transgender athletes should apply to compete.
“We recognize that gender identity in sport is a very sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the playing field,” NZOC said.
“The New Zealand team is committed to supporting all New Zealand athletes eligible for the Olympic Games, ensuring their mental and physical well-being as they compete on the world stage. Earlier Monday, Wang Zhouyu won the women’s 87 kilogram category for the first of two Chinese gold medals in weightlifting of the day. Wang won with a total of 270 kilograms. Tamara Salazar won silver for Ecuador with a total of 263, and Crismery Santana won bronze with 256 for the Dominican Republic.