Who is Laurel Hubbard? First transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics

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The Olympics have now entered their second and final week, with some of the most highly anticipated sports to come. Today, spectators can enjoy weightlifting, which showcases the strongest people in the world. Among them is the sport’s first transgender athlete, as Laurel Hubbard takes the stage.

Who is Laurel Hubbard?

Laurel Hubbard, 43, is making history as she competes today in Group A of the Women’s +87kg category.

Her presence in the games marks a momentous shift in official recognition of transgender women, who have long struggled for equal treatment alongside their cisgender sisters.

The competition is also a lifetime achievement for Ms Hubbard, who has cultivated a decades-long weightlifting career.

Before coming out as transgender in the early 2000s, Ms Hubbard established records as a junior competitor in New Zealand’s 1998 M105+ division when she was 20.

Although later surpassed, she managed a snatch best of 135kg and clean & jerk of 170kg, totalling 300kg.

She briefly stopped competing in 2001, as the pressure of “trying to fit in” became too much to bear.

Ms Hubbard transitioned to female in 2012 and started hormone therapy.

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