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Laurel Hubbard set to become first transgender Olympian


New Zealand transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard is set to make history.

After the International Weightlifting Federation revised its requirements so that athletes need to attend only four competitions instead of the previous six in order to qualify, Hubbard has been on track to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics.

Hubbard, who is 43, competed in men’s weightlifting prior to transitioning in 2013.

She has been eligible to compete in the Olympics since 2015, when the International Olympic Committee issued guidelines that allows any transgender athlete to compete as a woman as long as her testosterone levels are below a certain threshold for at least 12 months before her first competition.

Weightlifting has been at the center of debates over the fairness of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports. Hubbard’s participation has led to outrage in the past, such as at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, when she took home the gold medal.

The IOC plans to publish new guidelines on transgender athletes after the Tokyo Olympics.