Imagine being a female weightlifter so gifted and well-trained that you managed to beat out the best of the best in your country, only to make it to the 2020 Olympics and be forced to compete against a man.
This is the harsh reality that dozens of Olympians could soon be facing if one Laurel Hubbard makes the New Zealand team, as the transgender athlete who identifies as a woman inches closer to the Tokyo games.
Hubbard, who was born as a male and has competed as one, has been determined eligible to compete at the 32nd Olympiad after testing under the maximum threshold for testosterone required by the International Olympic Committee, France 24 reported.
In 2017, Hubbard’s first outing competing as a female in international competition saw the then-39-year-old smash unofficial national records for New Zealand at the Australian International in Melbourne, according to The New Zealand Herald.
In 2018, Hubbard became the first transgender athlete at the Commonwealth Games, something which the Australian Weightlifting Federation tried to prevent, to no avail.
“In our respectful view, the current criteria and its application has the potential to devalue women’s weightlifting and discourage female-born athletes from pursuing the sport at an elite level in the future,” the organization said at the time.
Although the 2020 New Zealand weightlifting team has not yet been named, the nation’s Olympic committee said Hubbard is likely to make the cut.
“The NZOC can confirm that revised international federation (IF) qualification systems are very likely to see a number of New Zealand weightlifters, including Commonwealth Games transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard, allocated an IF quota spot for Tokyo 2020,” the New Zealand Olympic Committee said, according to France 24.
“The New Zealand Team has a strong culture of manaaki (caring), inclusion and respect for all.”
Well, there is apparently no manaaki for the inevitable female athletes who would have made the cut, had they not been ousted by a competitor with inherent physical advantages.
Ironically, transgender athletes prove what the very ideological movement that supports their empowerment emphatically denies: That men and women simply aren’t the same and gender is biological.
All the surgery and hormone treatments in the world can’t change this blunt reality, especially when it comes to competitively picking up a bunch of heavy objects.
Women are capable of amazing strength and power, and nothing shows this more than women’s sports, especially weightlifting. There are even at least a handful of women out there who could lift more than a man — elite female athletes who could beat out average, untrained men, that is.
When these same athletes go up against a man with the same amount of training, any weightlifter knows that a woman will always, always lose, by a long shot.
Athletes who are born female and want to compete against males are simply not causing this controversy, and the reason is plain and simple. They’re simply not as strong, period.
Just look up the world weightlifting records and compare the men’s deadlift to the women’s.
Laurel Hubbard said during a rare interview in 2017, “I don’t want to change the world. I just want to be me and do what I do.”
Well, what Hubbard does and is trying to achieve will have long-lasting consequences for not only aspiring 2020 Olympians but for generations of female athletes to come.
All these women who have been beaten out by a male who can more easily achieve the lifts they’ve trained so hard to perform will likely be represented by him in the Tokyo games, as he competes against women who will miss out on a chance at fair competition.
This could not be more offensive to female athletes — and women everywhere.
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