This turns out to be a follow-up to a story we started covering back in 2017. At that time, transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand had been cleared by the International Olympic Committee to compete in the upcoming Commonwealth Games, paving the way for a potential Olympic appearance further down the road. Hubbard wound up missing out on that competition due to an elbow injury, but it was still anticipated that the biological male would do quite well in future events, despite having to take testosterone suppressors.
Now, less than two years later, Hubbard has struck gold twice (plus one silver) in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. (Washington Times)
The transgender conquest of women’s sports continued over the weekend as a New Zealand weightlifter took home multiple gold medals at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.
Laurel Hubbard won two gold medals and a silver in the three heavyweight categories, for women weighing more than 87 kilograms, or 192 pounds, finishing first in the snatch-lift and combined categories and second in the clean-and-jerk.
The 41-year-old weightlifter was born as Gavin Hubbard and reportedly transitioned while in the mid-30s.
There was a bit of unpleasant irony in the results of the Pacific Games. The actual woman who came in second place to Hubbard in that weight class was Feagaiga Stowers of Samoa. She was the person who wound up taking gold at the aforementioned Commonwealth Games when Hubbard was sidelined with an injury.
It’s not too much of a logical leap to believe that all of Stowers’ training and hard work might have landed her yet another gold medal this time had she not been forced to participate against a biological male. But where else would Hubbard compete? As we discussed in the original article linked above, his best lifts in this event in the past few years are still shy of the Olympic record held by an actual woman, Zhou Lulu of China. And Hubbard’s lifts are far, far below the men’s record.
Since it appears that Laurel Hubbard isn’t completely dominating the field in this sport, does that mean that the testosterone limiting rules are working and he’s just “among the best” in that weight class? Not really… or at least there’s insufficient information to draw that conclusion. It’s equally likely that he wasn’t all that great of a weightlifter when competing as a man and the best of the best women are still better than what Hubbard can manage.
And it certainly doesn’t answer the question of whether or not this is fair to all of the actual women who train for years on end, hoping for a shot on the international stage. What the IOC has done thus far to deal with the question of transgender athletes competing in women’s sports is pretty much nothing at all. Political correctness is threatening to put an end to competitive women’s sports entirely and nobody seems to have a solution.