Transgender weightlifter makes history at Olympics, falls out of medal contention

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard made history on Monday as the first openly transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Olympics but fell out of medal contention in the Tokyo Games, The Associated Press reported.

Hubbard reportedly failed to complete her first three lifts during the women’s over-87-kilogram competition. 

In an interview, the 43-year-old athlete thanked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Weightlifting Federation for allowing her to compete in the Games, telling the news service that she was aware of the “controversy" surrounding her participation. 


“And, as such, I’d particularly like to thank the IOC, for, I think, really affirming their commitment to the principles of Olympism, and establishing that sport is something for all people. It is inclusive. It is accessible,” Hubbard said. 

The New Zealand Olympic Committee announced in June that Hubbard would be on the nation's Olympic team. 

Hubbard's participation in the Tokyo Games was met with backlash from others, including former NFL quarterback Brett Favre, who said last month that it would be "unfair" to allow her to compete. 

In 2015, the IOC established new guidelines for transgender athletes to compete in the Olympics, the AP noted.

--Updated at 1:43 p.m.