Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has announced plans to retire from the sport following her appearance at the Tokyo Olympics.
Hubbard became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics in a different category they were born into.
However, it turned out to be Games to forget for the New Zealander as she was eliminated after missing her first three attempts.
“My performance was not what I had hoped for, but I am touched by the support I have received from so many people in New Zealand,” she said after the event.
“I am aware that my participation has been controversial.
“Thank you to the IOC for living up to the Olympic values and showing that sport is for everyone and that weightlifting can be practiced by all types of people.”
This is probably the last time we’ll see Hubbard, 43, in weightlifting as she revealed her intention to quit, citing her age as a factor.
“Age has caught up with me. In fact, if we’re being honest, it probably caught up with me some time ago, ”Hubbard said via RTE.
“My involvement in sports is probably due, at least, to heroic amounts of anti-inflammatories, and it’s probably time for me to start thinking about hanging up on my boots and focusing on other things in my life. . “
The New Zealander’s participation in the +87kg women’s weightlifting event has been the subject of much debate and Hubbard has called for greater awareness of trans athletes.
“I’m not sure a role model is something I can ever aspire to be,” Hubbard continued. “Instead, I hope that just by being, I can provide a feeling of encouragement.
“I’m sure we need to have a conversation,” she continued of the discussion about her competition in Tokyo.
“While we have rules at the moment, they will undoubtedly change and evolve as more is known about trans athletes and what that means for participation in sport.”