Rival Weightlifter Says Transgender Athlete Competing In Tokyo Olympics Is ‘Like A Bad Joke’
Laurel Hubbard would soon compete in the women’s event at the Tokyo Olympics and another athlete is saying the entire situation is “like a bad joke”.
Hubbard, who competed in men’s competitions before transitioning in 2013, is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. This was done after weightlifting’s governing body modified qualifying requirements for Tokyo.
Belgian weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen said she fully supported the transgender community but the principle of inclusion should not be “at the expense of others”.
Per UNILAD: “First off, I would like to stress that I fully support the transgender community, and that what I’m about to say doesn’t come from a place of rejection of this athlete’s identity […]
“However, anyone that has trained weightlifting at a high level knows this to be true in their bones: this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes.
“I understand that for sports authorities nothing is as simple as following your common sense and that there are a lot of impracticalities when studying such a rare phenomenon, but for athletes, the whole thing feels like a bad joke.”
The International Olympic Committee issued new guidelines allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s events provided they agree to have their testosterone levels monitored monthly.
Tracey Lambrechs has also been critical of Hubbard being allowed to compete.
She told TVNZ per Daily Mail: “I’m quite disappointed, quite disappointed for the female athlete who will lose out on that spot.
“We’re all about equality for women in sport but right now that equality is being taken away from us.
“I’ve had female weightlifters come up to me and say, ‘what do we do? This isn’t fair, what do we do?’. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do because every time we voice it we get told to be quiet.”