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Olympics welcoming trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is good for the sport, says Team GB rival

Vic Parsons July 19, 2021
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Laurel Hubbard and Emily Campbell

Laurel Hubbard and Emily Campbell are both hoping for Olympics weightlifting victory. (Getty)

Team GB weightlifter Emily Campbell has spoken out in support of Olympic rival Laurel Hubbard, saying her inclusion is “positive” for weightlifting a week before the Tokyo competition begins.

Campbell, 27, said she’s looking forward to the Olympics and thinks the extra attention given to weightlifting this year – as Hubbard is the first trans Olympian – is a good thing.

“I’m looking at it in a positive way,” she told The Mirror. “We’ve fought for so long for people to enjoy weightlifting and now you’re going to get some light on the sport.”

Campbell continued: “I know the Olympics is probably the only time people do switch the weightlifting on because you end up watching random sports.

“Hopefully I can give a really good performance and hopefully they will come back and watch us again.”

Laurel Hubbard will be the first out trans Olympic athlete

Laurel Hubbard, 43, is a New Zealand weightlifter. She will be the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics since trans people were first permitted to enter the games in 2004.

Her qualification for the Olympics sparked a global attack on trans inclusion in sports, centring on whether it is “fair” for trans women to compete.

In the wake of this, World Athletics, which sets the testosterone limits for women’s sports, barred several cis, Black female athletes from competing because their own testosterone levels exceed that which is deemed female.

Pressed on Hubbard’s inclusion, Campbell responded: “I’m not a rule-maker, I don’t sit on the big boards and make those decisions. That’s not my job. My job is to be an athlete and to compete.

“Nobody has broken any rules, everybody stuck to them and qualified fairly. You just have to go and compete against the girls who are out there. You can’t afford to let distractions get to you.

“If I perform as well as I know I can I hope it will bring me a personal best, a new British record – and hopefully something shiny to bring back as well.”

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