‘Stop the Insanity’: Fans, Media Erupt After Laurel Hubbard Becomes First Trans Athlete to Compete at Olympics

Laurel Hubbard
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Reactions are piling up after it was reported that the International Olympics Committee had approved Laurel Hubbard, a male who identifies as a woman, to become the first trans athlete to compete in the Olympics.

Hubbard, 43, transitioned in 2012 and has been competing in New Zealand and would have been on New Zealand’s last Olympics team if it wasn’t for an injury that prevented it.

Hubbard’s inclusion at the Tokyo games has engendered much criticism.

Belgian Olympian Anna Vanbellinghen, for instance, said it is a “bad joke” that Hubbard will advance to the Olympics as a female contestant.

“I understand that for sports authorities, nothing is as simple as following your common sense and that there are a lot of impracticalities when studying such a rare phenomenon, but for athletes, the whole thing feels like a bad joke,” Vanbellinghen said, according to InsideTheGames.

The group Save Women’s Sports Australasia also spoke out about the IOC’s “flawed policy” that would allow Hubbard to compete as a female.

“It is flawed policy from the IOC that has allowed the selection of a 43-year-old biological male who identifies as a woman to compete in the female category,” the group declared after the announcement.

Sharron Davies, a female British Olympian who has been outspoken on the issue of trans athletes, voiced her dissent in response to the IOC’s decision, among others:

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