Sporting legend Beatrice Faumuina backs Laurel Hubbard's Olympic debut

Sporting legend Beatrice Faumuina has backed Laurel Hubbard's Olympic debut, saying the Kiwi weightlifter has opened up the conversation about transgender athletes competing in high-level sport. 

Hubbard is the first trans athlete selected to compete at the Olympic Games. She competed in the women's +87kg weightlifting category on Monday night but placed last with three failed snatch lifts.

Faumuina, who represented New Zealand at several Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games as a discus thrower, says she admires Hubbard for bringing the conversation about trans athletes into the open.

"It's a conversation where their voice is valued and I want to see that and learn from them," she told The Project on Tuesday.

"So I hope she doesn't go into obscurity because we could all learn from her and teach each other."

Faumuina says she hopes barriers aren't put up around conversations concerning the inclusion of trans people in sport, because they should be involved. 

"We don't want to say you're not included, we actually need to hear them, and this is an opportunity that Laurel and others have done at the Olympics."

In an interview on Tuesday morning, Hubbard said "the world is changing" and there are opportunities for people to be out in the world and "do things just as any other person would do".

"If it means I now begin to descend into graceful obscurity, then I'm okay with that," she said.

Watch the video above.