Petition to Stop Trans Athlete Laurel Hubbard Competing at Olympics Goes Viral
Group calls for full review and overhaul of the IOC’s policy on transgender athletes
A viral petition to prevent New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard from competing in Tokyo Olympics has challenged the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) policy.
The petition has already amassed 21,000 signatures.
Hubbard, who is a male identifying as a woman, was confirmed as the first trans athlete to compete in the Olympic games after shredding biological females during qualifiers.
Hubbard has been competing at home and would have made New Zealand’s last Olympics team if it wasn't for injury preventing it.
A new change.org petition is calling for a full review and overhaul of the IOC’s policy on transgender athletes.
The petition highlights the policy permits “male-born athletes who identify as women” to take the place of women on sports teams and mask the sporting records of women.
“This is unfair to women due to the incontrovertible physical advantage that transwomen have,” the petition said.
The petition also argues that IOC’s transgender policy completely ignores any physical advantages, which include, strength, speed, stamina, and height that a “male-born athlete will have.”
In 2015, the Olympic Committee released a consensus approving transgender women's eligibility to compete in the games under certain conditions.
But some within the weightlifting community say the policy cannot guarantee fair competition.
Anna Van Bellinghen of Belgium, a rival weightlifter, told Inside the Games the move to allow transgender athletes in female events is "unfair."
"First off, I would like to stress that I fully support the transgender community and that what I'm about to say doesn't come from a place of rejection of this athlete's identity," Van Bellinghen told the sports website.
Female Weightlifter Reacts Angrily to Competing against Transgender in Olympic Games— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) June 22, 2021
READ MORE: https://t.co/obdPxEbAX6
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern defended Hubbard's inclusion in the games, saying it was in line with the rules.
“Parties here have simply followed the rules. That’s the case for Laurel but also the team in New Zealand – they have followed the rules,” she said.
“The alternative is to have someone who followed the rules but then is denied the ability to participate."
”So, ultimately, I leave it to those bodies, and that’s the decision they have made, and it’s in keeping with the standard that has been set globally."
"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, according to the BBC.