New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will reportedly become the first transgender Olympian after qualifying for this summer's Tokyo Games, according to various reports.
Hubbard, 43, has been virtually guaranteed a spot in the women's super heavyweight category after the IOC amended qualifying rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has not yet been officially named to the team.
Hubbard had been competing in men's weightlifting until she transitioned in 2012. She became eligible to compete in the Olympics since 2015, when the IOC allowed transgender women to be eligible in women's divisions as long as their testosterone levels were below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months before their first competition.
Hubbard won silver at the 2017 IWF World Championships before suffering a gruesome injury in 2018 Games. She then won gold in 2019 at the Pacific Games in Samoa. Australia's weightlifting organization attempted to have her banned in 2018 at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, but event officials refused.
"We respect the rules established by the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Olympic Committee for qualification and will be focusing on assisting our athletes to compete against all those who are qualified for the Tokyo Games," USA Weightlifting spokesman Kevin Farley said in a statement to Reuters.
The Tokyo Games are scheduled to be held from July 23 to Aug. 8.
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