British Female Olympian Blasts Transgender Weightlifter at Tokyo Olympics
Former swimmer Sharron Davies blasts Olympic Committee for allowing male in female events
A former British Olympian has slammed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for allowing a biological-male transgender weightlifter to compete in this year's Tokyo Games.
Olympic silver medal-winning swimmer Sharron Davies blasted the IOC over the move, arguing that competitors must be separated by biological sex, rather than "gender identity," to keep sports fair.
Davies was reacting to the news that a transgender weightlifter has been confirmed as the first trans athlete to compete in the Olympic games after shredding biological females during qualifiers.
On Monday, the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced that biological male Laurel Hubbard will compete in the women's super-heavyweight category at the upcoming Games in Tokyo on July 23.
Hubbard, who previously competed in men's events as Gavin Hubbard with little success before becoming a "champion female" lifter, crushed the competition during qualifying sessions by lifting 628 pounds in two lifts.
“We have men &women’s separate competition 4a BIG reason, biology in sport matters," Davies said in a post on Twitter.
"Separate categories give females equal opportunities of sporting success, the average age of a female Olympic weight lifter is 23,” Davies, who has previously called for a ban on transgenders in sport, continued.
"Laurel Hubbard is 43,” she tweeted.
"30% unfair advantage!
"Sex not gender 4 Sport.”
We have men &women’s separate competition 4a BIG reason, biology in sport matters. Separate categories give females equal opportunities of sporting success, the average age of a female Olympic weight lifter is 23. Laurel Hubbard is 43. 30% unfair advantage! Sex not gender 4Sport https://t.co/CN8bdniKrq— Sharron Davies MBE (@sharrond62) June 21, 2021
"I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders," 43-year-old Hubbard said in a statement after the announcement was made.
The Daily Mail reported on Hubbard’s acceptance to compete in the women’s super-heavyweight 87-kg category:
[Hubbard] became eligible to compete in the Olympics when new guidelines were set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2015.The IOC policy specifies conditions under which those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category.
Among them is that the athlete has declared that her gender identity is female and that the declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.
Hubbard competed as a man until he decided to start living — and competing — as a woman at age 35.
And there are many in the weightlifting community who are critical of the development, including Belgian weightlifter Anna Van Bellinghen, 27, who will most likely compete against Hubbard.
She said it was “like a bad joke.”
The Daily Mail reported that Hubbard’s former teammate, Tracey Lambrechs, said last month that the concerns of biological female weightlifters were being ignored.
“I’ve had female weightlifters come up to me and say ‘This isn’t fair, what can we do?’” Lambrechs told broadcaster TVNZ.
“Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do because every time we voice it (concerns) we get told to be quiet,” Lambrechs said.
The Daily Mail report also included a statement from Beth Stelzer, a U.S. amateur powerlifter who founded Save Women’s Sports.
“What the Olympics is doing by allowing males to compete in the women’s category is not only shameful but a mockery of sport,” the statement said.
“We cannot change our sex.”
“A male cannot become a female by lowering their Testosterone, women are not a hormone level,” Stelzer said in the statement.
“Identities do not play sports, bodies play sports.”
“The rights of females should not end where the feelings of a few males begin,” Stelzer said.
“We need to stop complying with these lies and start supporting females.”