The upcoming Tokyo Olympics will mark a major milestone for the LGBTQ+ community.
Laurel Hubbard, a New Zealand weightlifter, will be the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics, according to Reuters, via NBC News.
Her home country selected her to represent them in the women’s event, and she will compete in the super-heavyweight 87-kg category. Reuters also reports Laurel will be the oldest lifter at the Tokyo games at age 43.
On Monday, June 21, Laurel issued a statement via the New Zealand Olympic Committee, reading, “I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders.”
She has previously competed in men’s weightlifting competitions, before she transitioned in 2013, per the outlet.
Two years later, the International Olympic Committee issued guidelines for allowing transgender athletes to participate in the games. It states that those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in female categories if her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition, and it must remain below that threshold throughout the competition.
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