The Tokyo Olympics ushered in the first transgender athlete in Olympic history to participate in the Olympic Games, causing controversy. According to a report on the “Russia Today” website on the 21st, the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced on the same day that Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter of 87 kilograms and above, who had been transformed from a male to a female through sex reassignment surgery, was selected for the country’s women’s weightlifting team.
As the oldest weightlifter in the history of the Olympic Games, Hubbard, 43, said in a statement: “I am grateful to many New Zealanders for giving me the kindness and support.” However, many people think that New Zealand’s move is detrimental to women. Track and field events are fair and even described the decision as “outright cheating.”
Karen Smith, chief executive of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, defended the decision, stating that Hubbard met the requirements for participation and stressed that the New Zealand Olympic delegation “tolerates and respects everyone.” However, Smith admitted that this decision is indeed controversial, and gender identity in sports is a highly sensitive and complex issue that needs to be balanced on the court.
Australian SBS television reported on the 21st that Hubbard had been participating in weightlifting competitions as a male when he was young. In 2013, at the age of 35, she decided to change her gender. Since 2015, she has met all the requirements of the International Olympic Committee regarding transgender athletes and fair competition, and has been qualified for the Olympic Games. Japan’s Kyodo News Agency said on the 21st that in 2015, the International Olympic Committee introduced new regulations, as long as the male hormone testosterone value is below a certain value in 12 months, transgender players are allowed to participate in the competition as women.
However, many people questioned the claim that the New Zealand team carefully weighed all factors before inviting Hubbard to participate. The Australian “Save the Women Movement” organization, which advocates fair competition for women, criticized the International Olympic Committee for “betraying women.” Others have warned that Hubbard’s historic participation in the Olympics will create “an unpleasant” precedent that will cause great harm to women’s sports in the coming years. Some people believe that Hubbard’s participation in the Tokyo Olympics is the inevitable result of “feminists” harming their own interests, and that women’s space is being “taken over by men.” Some critics believe that it is very unfair for male athletes to participate in women’s events because of their transgender changes. Hubbard’s choice undermines the integrity of women’s sports.