Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Will Compete At Worlds

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard, born Gavin Hubbard, will be competing at the 2017 IWF World Championships in the women's 90+kg category. Her entry total is 280kg, the second highest in the division. The competition begins today in Anaheim, California, and runs through December 6.

Hubbard became the first transgender person to represent New Zealand in international sport earlier this year when she easily won the gold at the 2017 Australasian Championships.

She followed that performance up with an incredibly impressive day at the 2017 World Masters Games, where she not only won but also set three new masters world records with a 131kg/288lb snatch,  149kg/328lb clean and jerk, and a 280kg total.

The inclusion of transgender women competing in weightlifting is a touchy subject for a lot of people, including the head of Australia's weightlifting federation, Michael Keenan, who has both admired Hubbard for being on the "cusp of making a lot of history" and also suggested that there are physiological and psychological advantages Hubbard may have due to having trained as a man for the first 30 years of her life.

The president of New Zealand's weightlifting federation has also voiced his support for Hubbard while pointing out that some of Hubbard's strength has stayed with her even past the transition from male to female.

The IOC and IWF have regulations in place which transgender women must meet before being allowed to compete in weightlifting internationally, and Laurel Hubbard has met all of those standards. Specifically, her testosterone levels have stayed below a certain threshold for at least 12 months prior to her first competition as a woman.

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