Tokyo Olympics: Laurel Hubbard (Weightlifting)

  • 01/01/2021

Laurel Hubbard

Age: 43

Height: 1.85m 

Event: +87kg women

Born: February 9, 1978

Coach: Tim Swords

Possibly the best-known NZ athlete around the world right now, Hubbard has created headlines as the first transgender athlete selected to compete at an Olympics.

As a male, she set national junior records in the men's +105k division, marks that have since been broken by Commonwealth Games champion and Tokyo teammate David Liti.

Transitioning from male to female in 2012, Hubbard began competing internationally in 2017 and won a silver medal at the women's +90kg world championship.

She was duly selected for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, but suffered a potentially career-ending arm injury while leading the competition and finished without a medal.

But Hubbard has returned from that setback, finishing sixth at the 2019 world championships, with a total 10kg more than she lifted for second two years earlier. She is currently ranked seventh in the world.

Her presence at Tokyo has already sparked vigorous debate over IOC rules governing transgender athletes, with 40 former Olympians lobbying Sport NZ to carefully consider the repercussions on grassroots sport.