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Olympic athletes are getting a pat on the back for their decision this week not to respond to a question about Gavin Hubbard. The New Zealand weightlifter made history this week in the 87kg weightlifting final. The reason? Hubbard identifies as a woman, goes by the name Laurel, and is the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual Olympic event.
Hubbard walked away empty-handed after failing to record a single clean lift in three allotted attempts. Still, reporters were quick to question the three biological females that did medal how they felt about Hubbard’s groundbreaking performance.
“No, thank you,” said U.S. athlete Sarah Robles after nine seconds of silence.
Robles won the bronze. Emily Campbell of Great Britain won the silver. Li Wenwen of China took home the gold.
“The media is now part of the transgender lobby,’ says Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth, an organization that opposes what it calls the unnatural LGBTQueer agenda and defends Biblical morality. “I’m so proud of these three brave champions for refusing to play along with their agenda of putting gender-confused men and LGBTQ activism ahead of real women’s achievements.”
LaBarbera isn’t alone in his concerns about Hubbard competing as a female in the Olympics.
“Hubbard took the place of Kuinini Manumua, a 21-year-old woman of colour who had trained for years. This would have been her first Olympics. Remember her name,” wrote Julie Bindel in The Spectator in an op-ed titled “Laurel Hubbard is the beginning of the ned of women’s sports.”
Belgian weightlifter Anna Van Bellinghe said before the Games that Hubbard’s participation was unfair to the sport and to the athletes. Bellinghe also stated that she felt powerless about the situation. In the United States, individuals, think tanks, and special interest groups have also been critical of biological men competing in women’s sports. Some states have taken steps to pass legislation barring biological males from competing in female sports. Supporters of the bills say biological males are taking opportunities that should be given to the biological female athletes.
The International Olympic Committtee (IOC) says Hubbard satisfied the protocol for transgender athletes, with a testosterone level less than 10 nanomoles per liter. Still, New York Post is reporting that maximum threshold is “still several times greater than the standard for biological women.”