The results are in, and they aren’t good for New Zealand “transgender” weight-lifter Laurel Hubbard. The biological male was the first athlete to compete against women at the Olympics, drawing lots of attention before the competition ranging from cheers to condemnation (see First Transgender Athlete Will Now Compete in Olympics). Yet, when the spotlight really came on and it was time to perform, failure ensued.
This per The Daily Wire.
— The Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) August 2, 2021
New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard competed and failed Monday in women’s +87kg weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics.
In Hubbard’s first attempt, the weightlifter tried to lift 120kg and failed. In the 43-year-old’s second attempt, Hubbard lifted a very shaky 125kg.
As noted by one of the female commentators, it was very surprising that the questionable 125kg lift wasn’t challenged with an appeal.
On the third attempt, Hubbard could not lift the 125kg, bouncing the weightlifter from the competition.
The irony here is that those who support the idea of men competing against women in sports under the guise of transgender inclusivity will no doubt use this as vindication. “See, there’s no difference between the sexes, look at how badly Hubbard failed” they’ll furiously type into the boxes of their favorite social media platforms.
But is that really the lesson here? Hubbard was 43 years old, by far the oldest person to qualify for any of the women’s weightlifting events at the games. The fact that a middle-aged man failed against massive women in their 20s is not indicative that men do not generally have major advantages over women in physical activities. There will always be overlap.
Further, weightlifting is not an event where everyone attempts the same weight. Rather, each lifter chooses to attempt what they feel they can do. Those weights are then added up based on the success of each of the three lift attempts to come to a final score. In Hubbard’s case, it appears he tried to lift too much weight, and when he wasn’t able to lift it cleanly, he ended up out of the competition. Had Hubbard taken a more conservative approach and attempted a lesser weight, who knows what would have happened? In short, given the way the competition occurs, there’s nothing dispositive here supporting the idea that men hold no advantages over women in athletics.
Yet, despite Hubbard’s big miss at the Olympics, the adulation still poured in, with sites like Axios and USA Today proclaiming that history was made this morning. Meanwhile, you’ll likely never know the names of those who, you know, actually won their competitions.