Well, it’s official! The Olympic Games in Tokyo will be the first of its kind to bear witness to a biological male — or “the first openly transgender athlete,” as CBS News put it — competing against women going for the gold in any sport.
Laurel Hubbard, a 43-year-old biological male that will represent New Zealand in the Games, will compete in the women’s Super-Heavyweight division against biological females.
“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders," Hubbard said in a statement, as reported by CBS News. "The last eighteen months has shown us all that there is strength in kinship, in community, and in working together towards a common purpose. The mana of the silver fern comes from all of you and I will wear it with pride.”
For context, “the silver fern” is a reference to a plant that's used on an unofficial flag of New Zealand.
Hubbard has been competing against biological women for years now, as he/she “dominated” the competition at the Australian International event in 2017.
Hubbard formerly competed as Gavin Hubbard against men in competition, but never reached the heights in his sport that the supposed female version of her is currently reaping the rewards from.
Oh, and by the way, Hubbard’s place on the team takes away a spot from biological women that worked all their lives — competing against other women — to get to.