We can expect to see a lot of changes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which is expected to run from 23 July to 08 August 2021. One of those changes will be the participation of a transgendered weightlifter from New Zealand.
Laurel Hubbard has not yet been named to the New Zealand weightlifting Olympic team but reports suggest that this is only a formality as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has passed laws that will allow the 43 year old to compete in the women’s weightlifting division. When she does compete, she will become the first transgendered athlete to openly compete at the Olympics.
While the worldwide transgendered community will celebrate this achievement, there are many who protest this ruling. Multiple states in America have tried to prevent transgenders from competing in women and girls sports as they believe it gives the transgender an unfair advantage over the rest of the women.
Australia has tried in the past to ban Laurel Hubbard from participating in the 2018 Commonwealth Games but failed to do so. USA Weightlifting released a statement and claimed that they had no problem with Hubbard taking part in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Dangerous To Other Athletes
There are a number of sporting organizations in the world that are against having transgenders participate in their sports. While a case can be made for equal rights and equal opportunity, it is a dangerous game to play. When you get a transgendered athlete to compete in women’s sports like weightlifting, cycling and swimming for example – it gives them an unfair advantage – which can be argued.
However, when you take a transgendered athlete and put them in a combative sport like boxing, mixed martial arts or rugby, you automatically put the opposition at a greater risk because the strength and size difference does make a huge difference. UFC President Dana White has been someone who has been dead set against having transgendered athletes perform in his organization.
Since Hubbard is competing in weightlifting, the protests are not as intense as one would see if a transgendered athlete qualified for a boxing match at the Olympics.
Will The Olympics Take Place?
The big question for the IOC right now is whether they will be able to pull off the Olympics as multiple countries battle a rise in COVID. Japan has witnessed more COVID cases in the last 30 days than any other 30 day period in the past.