Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter who was born male as Gavin Hubbard, competed against females this past weekend.
Surprise, surprise: Hubbard won three medals.
The 41-year-old New Zealander medaled in the women’s field in three heavyweight divisions in the Pacific Games held in Samoa. The heavyweight division is for competitors who weigh more than 192 pounds.
The second place medal went to an 18-year-old weightlifter named Feagaiga Stowers, who, according to The Caldron Pool, won the Samoan gold medal last year only after Hubbard was unable to compete due to an injury.
Feagaiga Stowers was born Feagaiga Stowers.
Stowers is also Samoa’s flag bearer. As Mata’afa Keni Lesa wrote in the Samoa Observer, “this Pacific Games was supposed to have been her moment.”
Feagaiga Stowers pic.twitter.com/gtWfuUTT25
— Daphna (@daphna2011) July 13, 2019
Lesa wasn’t amused by Hubbard’s stealing the gold from Stowers. “[H]er kiwi competitor is someone who shouldn’t have been there in the first place,” Lesa writes. “Many of us know the story. Hubbard’s story is one of many cases, where political correctness has allowed a blatant wrong to be accepted.”
Lesa argues that Hubbard’s participation diminishes opportunities for hard-working biological females. “But where we have an issue, and where people in positions of power to right this wrong should act immediately, is when Hubbard denies the opportunity for women like Stowers to claim what is rightfully theirs,” Lesa wrote. “Hubbard does not belong in the women’s competition.”
We just cannot stop thinking about Feagaiga Stowers. Having been chosen as Samoa’s flag bearer, this was supposed to have been her moment. This is a young woman who has had to endure tremendous difficulties in her childhood. It’s an incredible story… https://t.co/VNyBm7iJYA
— Scott Beadle (@ScottBeadle23) July 16, 2019
Sports and competition are built on the idea that people compete against each other on a level playing field. To Lesa, allowing Hubbard into the female competition undermines that fundamental premise.
“We are talking about sports here. One of the values of sport is fairness,” Lesa argues. “We cannot say that allowing a transgender to compete against women is fair. It is grossly unfair for women like Stowers, or all women, for that matter.”
Lesa knows that by merely bringing up Hubbard’s biological advantage over the other competitors, he will be labeled a bigot by the left. And he’s okay with that.
The woman who should have came first at @samoa2019 is 18 yo Feagaiga Stowers. She won gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games aged 17 with a total of 253kg. She’s also the current Oceanic junior record holder in the snatch,C&J & total. She was Samoa’s flag bearer for this years games pic.twitter.com/Oh7mTwQpjr
— 🐰 (@bunifoosh) July 13, 2019
“In raising this issue, we accept people would call us names such as racist, discriminative, homophobic and what have you,” Lesa says. “We’re okay with that. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.”
“But here is the thing, we should insist on the truth. Besides, it is upon the decisions we make today we establish the foundation for tomorrow.”
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