New Zealander Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics, thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for making the Games “inclusive.”
The New Zealand Olympic Committee released a statement attributed to Hubbard on Friday, remarking on the historical event coming on Monday, Fox News reported.
“The Olympic Games are a global celebration of our hopes, our ideals, and our values. I commend the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,” Hubbard reportedly said.
(Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Hubbard is set to compete as a woman in Monday’s 87-kilogram lift.
Hubbard claims to have transitioned eight years ago at the age of 35. The 43-year-old weightlifter who also competed as a male for many years began competing as a female in 2017. The IOC ruled that Hubbard met all the requirements for trans athletes and qualified for this year’s international games.
The IOC’s decision has sparked a wave of concern and outrage. Early in July, a petition was started demanding that the IOC revoke Hubbard’s invitation to compete at Tokyo Games. And during the same week, a woman who recently retired from New Zealand’s national weightlifting organization came out and said that the country’s sports authorities silenced any competitors who stood against allowing transgender athletes into their sport.
Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand walks on stage during the Women’s +90kg Final during the Weightlifting on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Despite the outrage, the IOC went all in for the transgender agenda on Friday as the IOC’s medical director, Richard Budgett, declared “transwomen are women” and should be included in women’s sport “when we possibly can.”
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