According to The Washington Times, in 2017, transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard smashed four national records and was able to outlift the nearest competitor by an astonishing 19 kilograms, or nearly 40 pounds.
Hubbard is now set to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and the controversy has raised more questions with concern to biological males competing in women’s sports. According to the Washington Examiner, Rasmussen Reports released a survey on Friday revealing that 56% of respondents feel that it is unfair to make women compete against transgender athletes.
That majority opinion on the issue crosses racial and partisan lines, with over half of Black respondents, whites, Republicans, and Democrats all holding the same position. By comparison, just 25% of Americans say it is fair while another 19% expressed uncertainty regarding the issue.
Interestingly, the poll revealed that men were slightly more likely to express opposition than women, with 59% of men indicating that they oppose transgender athletes competing in women’s sports, whereas 54% of women said the same. Twenty-five percent of both groups said they were in favor of the idea.
Kereyn Smith, the chief executive of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, was quoted by the Examiner as describing the controversial issue as “complex.”
“We acknowledge that gender identity in sport is a highly sensitive and complex issue requiring a balance between human rights and fairness on the field of play,” Smith declared, conveniently leaving out the part about biological males having a clear advantage in weightlifting sports.
“We are committed to supporting all eligible New Zealand athletes and ensuring their mental and physical well-being along with their high-performance needs while preparing for and competing at the Olympic Games are met,” Smith added.
“There are reasons for having a male and female category”
New Zealand weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs didn’t seem to agree with Smith’s assessment of the “highly sensitive” situation. Lambrechs saw her weightlifting record shattered by Hubbard, and she believes that allowing transgender athletes to compete will put women at a massive, continuing disadvantage.
“It’s honestly going to knock women out of sport,” Lambrechs said during a recent Fox News interview, according to the Daily Mail.
“Women are not going to want to participate in something where there isn’t opportunity for them to win medals or go to international competition,” the Olympic weightlifting champion added.
“In a strength sport, where there are reasons for having a male and female category, you can’t just do away with categories,” Lambrechs said, adding, “There are 14, 15-year-old boys lifting what our females lift.”
It’s truly a shame that the Olympics — and a long list of other prestigious competitions — are being ruined for everyone by the few who somehow believe it’s fair for biological males, who have an undeniable advantage, to compete with women in the same category.