Laurel Hubbard, a transgender weightlifter from New Zealand, was knocked out of Olympic contention early after failing to complete lifts on her first three attempts Monday.
Hubbard, a 42-year-old weightlifter who transitioned from male to female at the age of 35, was chosen to compete in the women’s 87+ kg weightlifting division for the Tokyo Olympics in June, becoming the first transgender athlete to do so.
Hubbard was unable to get 120kg above her head on the first attempt, Yahoo Sports reported. Hubbard was able to lift 125kg above her head on the second attempt, only for the judges to rule Hubbard’s attempt a “no lift,” according to Yahoo Sports. On Hubbard’s final attempt, her second attempt at lifting 125kg, she failed to raise the bar over her head. When the bar hit the mat, Hubbard patted her chest and made a heart out of her hands.
Hubbard’s results were recorded as a DNF for “did not finish,” and was the only one out of the 13 finalists to fail to complete one lift, Yahoo Sports reported.
Hubbard used to compete as a male weightlifter & has taken the spot of a woman who has trained for years to compete for her country. Nothing about this is fair or to be celebrated. https://t.co/LUs7FQn5E5
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) August 2, 2021
“Thank you so very much for your interest in my humble sporting performance tonight,” Hubbard said to members of the media after the event, according to Yahoo Sports. “I know from a sporting perspective I did not live up to the standards I put upon myself.”
While Hubbard took no questions from the media, she addressed how her presence at the Olympic games has become contentious to some because of her gender identity. She also thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for its support.
“I know my participation in these games has not been entirely without controversy,” Hubbard claimed, Yahoo Sports reported. “[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.” (RELATED: All Of The Olympic Events That Could Have Transgender Athletes)
The New Zealander also thanked her fans and Japan for being good Olympic hosts.