New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics after qualifying for the rescheduled Tokyo Games due to a rule change.
Hubbard was guaranteed a spot in the women’s super heavyweight category after the International Olympic Committee approved an amendment to the rules because COVID-19 forced the cancellation of many competitions.
Before transitioning in 2013, Hubbard competed in men’s weightlifting competitions, posing a serious threat to female competitors.
USA Weightlifting said it was fine with Hubbard competing, per NBC News.
“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,” spokesman Kevin Farley said.
Indeed, weightlifting has been at the forefront of debate over transgender athletes competing in women’s sports because of its strenuous nature.
Let’s consider the science. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that men had an average of 26 pounds more skeletal muscle mass than women. Additionally, on average, women exhibited about 40 percent less upper-body strength and 33 percent less lower-body strength.
That’s not sexist, it’s simply science.
Having a transgender female athlete competing in weightlifting competitions against biological females is not only unfair, it’s dangerous.
Simply put, this is the clearest of all threats to biological women competing in sports.