There was controversy after a New Zealand man, competing as a transgender woman, won two gold medals and a silver in three of the women’s heavyweight categories at the Pacific Games in Samoa this month.
Laurel Hubbard, a biological 41-year-old man, was awarded the medals to the disappointment and anger of Samoan Prime Minster Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaio, who said, “I really don’t think he – she – should ever participate in this tournament, but I realize we have to be inclusive and we cannot exclude these people.
“They ought to participate in these games in their own category”
Hubbard is now free to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
The New Zealand based lobby group, “Speak Up For Women,” said allowing Hubbard to compete as a woman was unfair.
“New Zealanders know that males competing in women’s sport is blatantly unfair,” said the group’s spokesperson Ani O’Brien. “No matter how we look at it, he’s a man and it’s shocking this was allowed in the first place.”
The outrage that followed Hubbard’s medal wins has prompted the Games Council to review its polices.