A transgender woman by the name of Laurel Hubbard has qualified for the 2021 Olympics in Japan by way of New Zealand. Hubbard will be New Zealand’s first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. The 43-year-old weightlifter has competed for the better part of two decades.
Hubbard’s weightlifting career started back in 1998. From 1998 until 2012, Hubbard competed as a male. Hubbard then transitioned to female in 2013 and then set their sights on the Olympics. In 2017, they won a silver medal at the World Weightlifting Championships, as a woman. Then in 2019, they won gold at the Pacific Games, again, as a woman. In 2021, they have qualified for the Olympics. There is a ton of controversy coming from this for a variety of reasons.
In order to include Hubbard in the group of women who qualify from the Olympics from New Zealand, one biological woman must be excluded. And that woman is named Kuinini “Nini” Manumua. Nini was raised in Tonga and then moved to California. She is a fairly recent college graduate who attended school in California. She originally competed with the US team then switched to Tonga. Her continental region is Oceania, which includes New Zealand. Only a certain number of people are allowed from each continental region. Hubbard’s inclusion just barely pushed Manumua out of Olympic qualification.
Laurel Hubbard has the right to identify however they’d like. What they should not have the right to do is compete against biological women. Either they need to compete against other biological men or there needs to be a separate category altogether for transgender people. If there are gendered sports, weight and height classes among same-gender sports such as boxing, and bans on certain performance-enhancing drugs, why is there no true transgender regulation? To observe this situation as a serious problem should be common sense. But unfortunately, common sense is no longer very common.
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