New Zealand transgender Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard thanked the Games and supporters but admitted that the competition sparked a lot of controversy after flaming out in Tokyo on Monday.
On Monday, Hubbard failed on all three lifts in the women’s +87kg competition and was marked down as a “did not finish.” Indeed, Hubbard was the only contestant in the female category that didn’t complete at least one lift. It was an embarrassing end for an appearance that sparked so much controversy.
Laurel Hubbard of Team New Zealand waves to his fans during the Weightlifting – Women’s 87kg+ Group A on day ten of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo International Forum. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
After an inglorious finish, Hubbard spoke to the media and thanked everyone for their indulgence. The 43-year-old athlete also admitted that the whole situation was not without controversy, Yahoo Sports reported.
“Thank you so very much for your interest in my humble sporting performance tonight,” Hubbard told the media on Monday. “I know from a sporting perspective I did not live up to the standards I put upon myself.”
“I know my participation in these games has not been entirely without controversy,” Hubbard added.
“[The IOC has] been extraordinarily supportive, and I think that they have reaffirmed the principles of the Olympics that sport is something that all people around the world can do, that it is inclusive and successful,” Hubbard insisted.
(Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Ahead of Hubbard’s doomed appearance, reporters were handed guidebooks on how they should speak about the transgender athlete’s participation that was prepared by a group of LGBT activist organizations with the approval of the International Weightlifting Federation.
The booklet ordered reporters to ignore “misinformation” that transgender athletes have an “unfair advantage” and told them to “familiarize yourselves with … anti-LGBTQ groups and their campaigns targeting transgender access to sports,” according to PA Media.
In the end, there wasn’t much reporting to guide as far as Hubbard is concerned.
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