TOKYO — Laurel Hubbard, an openly transgender female weightlifter, failed to complete any of her three lifts during the snatch portion of the women’s +87kg Olympic weightlifting competition on Monday and recorded a “did not finish.”
The 43-year-old Hubbard of New Zealand had one attempt at 120 kg and two at 125 kg but she was unsuccessful at both weights. She was able to get the bar over her head on her second effort but the jury ruled it a no lift.
After her third attempt, in which she dropped the bar behind her, she received a loud ovation from the small crowd at the Tokyo International Forum and she put her hands over her heart and mouthed “thank you” in response.
The International Olympic Committee allows individual sport federations to create their own rules about the inclusion of transgender athletes. Hubbard met all of the requirements set by the International Weightlifting Federation but has still been at the center of the debate over the participation of transgender women in sports.
Hubbard was grateful for the opportunity to compete.
“I see the Olympic Games as a global celebration of our hopes, ideals and values and I would like to thank the IOC for its commitment to making sport inclusive and accessible,” Hubbard said in a statement provided by the IOC on Friday.
Hubbard was the only woman in her 10-athlete session to not advance to the Clean & Jerk portion of the evening.
Wenwen Li of China set an Olympic record with her 140 kg snatch lift and won the gold medal with a record total 320kg. Britain’s Emily Campbell claimed silver with 283kg, and Sarah Robles of the U.S. took bronze with 282kg.