A New Zealand female champion weightlifter named Laurel Hubbard will be the first transgender individual to compete in the history of the Olympics.
Hubbard competed as a male until 2013 when she began transitioning and has been eligible to compete since 2015 after the International Olympic Committee changed their guidelines.
According to The Guardian, Hubbard was a male for 35 years and at that time he wasn’t interested in weight lifting until after he transitioned. She then went on to win various titles in the female division.
Kuinini Manumua, a 21 year old biological female would’ve qualified instead of Hubbard.
Kereyn Smith, New Zealand’s Olympic Committee chief executive said Hubbard meets all the criteria to participate in the competition.
We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play. As the New Zealand Team, we have a strong culture of manaaki (hospitality) and inclusion and respect for all,” she said.
The games are set to be held in Tokyo, Japan.