Tokyo Olympics update

On Monday, Laurel Hubbard became the first publicly transgender woman to participate in the Olympics. This is a historic moment for transgender rights advocates, even though rival activists believe she should not participate in the Olympics .

The weightlifter from New Zealand participated in the women’s 87 kg and above finals, but her three attempts in the “snatch” ended in failure, ending her hopes of winning a medal. Before leaving the stadium, she said “thank you” to the onlookers of the Tokyo International Forum, which moved her heart.

The gold medal was won by Chinese player Li Wenwen. He lifted a total of 320 kilograms, setting an Olympic record. Emily Campbell of the United Kingdom won the silver medal, while Sarah Robles of the United States won the bronze medal.

Although the time is short, Hubbard’s appearance at the Olympics made her a Debate about gender classification On either side of the discussion about LGBT+ rights, intense sports took place among athletes, scientists, and activists.

Hubbard read a statement to reporters after quitting the competition, thanking New Zealand Olympic officials for supporting her participation: “I know my participation in these Olympics is not entirely without controversy. But I think they are great.”

Before the Tokyo Olympics, a team of scientists convened by the International Olympic Committee failed to agree on the rules for when transgender athletes are eligible to participate in women’s sports, allowing organizations that manage individual sports events to set their own rules.

Chinese player Li Wenwen won the gold medal in the women’s weightlifting over 87 kg on Monday © Reuters

However, the International Olympic Committee did issue guidelines in November 2015, suggesting that athletes who transition from men to women can remove their testicles without surgery if their testosterone levels remain below a certain level (10 nanomoles per liter). In the case of participating in the women’s competition. At least 12 months.

The International Weightlifting Federation is the world governing body of the sport and abides by the guidelines of the International Olympic Committee. Hubbard meets the standard.

The chief spokesperson of the International Olympic Committee, Mark Adams, said: “She can be called fair and just.” “We will support all athletes to participate in the competition.”

But others question Hubbard’s right to compete. Leading sports scientist Ross Tucker has always believed that, driven by male hormones, people who go through puberty will get lasting physical benefits.

He believes that in some cases, the female sports category should be considered “Protected” category Transgender women should not be eligible.

There have been fierce debates on this issue. Some people believe that relatively little research has been done on transgender athletes, so it is difficult to measure the degree of physical advantage after conversion.

“There is no evidence that transgender athletes have an unfair advantage, or that they are leading – or will always dominate – sports,” said Ailey, a team player who advocates for LGBT issues in sports.

Hubbard won the weightlifting competition in the Junior Men’s Division. She transitioned in 2012 and returned to the sport in 2017 after a long game interruption. At 43, she is 10 years older than her rival in Tokyo.

The split and political nature of Debates around transgender rights This means that Hubbard’s weightlifters have largely avoided the topic of her involvement.

Tracey Lambrechs is a New Zealander. She has competed with Hubbard in the same weight class, and she believes that her participation is unfair to other women.

“Equality has been taken away from us,” Lambrex told local media In June. “Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do, because every time we try to make a sound, we are told to keep quiet.”

Other Olympic sports federations have adopted different rules. In 2018, the track and field supervision agency IAAF, Introduced regulations Limit the testosterone levels of female athletes in certain events.

The rule affects South Africa’s Castel Semenya, The Olympic women’s 800m defending champion, she is not transgender but too much androgen, or is born with elevated testosterone levels.

Semenya Lost her 2019 The sports arbitration court has challenged the IAAF rules and is considered the highest arbitrator of global sports. Semenya did not take drugs to limit her testosterone levels, but tried and failed to qualify for the 5000m Olympics.

Long after Hubbard appeared in Tokyo as a sports official, the status of intersex and transgender athletes will remain up in the air Struggling to survive Modern gender thinking about the long-term binary naming of male and female events.

“Everyone has the right to participate in sports,” said Richard Budgett, director of the International Olympic Committee’s Department of Medicine and Science. “Then maybe at the very, very, elite level, we [need] Eligibility rules, we try to get everyone involved. “

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