The issue of transgender athletes in sports has gotten louder since Laurel Hubbard made waves and is now slated to represent New Zealand in this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Hubbard transitioned from male to female in 2012 at the age of 35. Prior to that, Hubbard had competed and trained in male weightlifting since a teenager.
An online petition in opposition to Hubbard’s upcoming Olympic appearance has now surpassed over 30,000 signatures and claims that the rules which currently allow Hubbard to compete.
“Male-born athletes who identify as women are taking women’s places on sports teams, breaking women’s sporting records and insisting they must share changing and showering facilities with women. This is unfair to women due to the incontrovertible physical advantage that transwomen have. It will also prevent some women from taking part in organized sport at all due to religious and cultural reasons.
The IOC require only that a transwoman has maintained a particular level of testosterone for 12 months in order to compete as a ‘self-identifying’ woman. This completely ignores the physical advantages in speed, height, stamina and strength that a male-born athlete will have.
Sports organizations around the world cite the IOC policy as ‘international best practice’ and as a result women’s sport is in danger of being effectively erased. This policy should be suspended immediately. Women and girls are being sacrificed by the IOC as an easy fix for transgender demands for inclusion. Women were not consulted and did not consent to this policy which will make a complete mockery of their sport.
Some transwomen have already qualified to represent their country at the Tokyo Olympics. This is indefensible.”
Hubbard has met the International Olympic Committee’s requirements for athletes who transition from male to female.
“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement on Monday. “When I broke my arm at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, I was advised that my sporting career had likely reached its end. But your support, your encouragement, and your aroha [love] carried me through the darkness.”