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Weightlifter Goes Viral for Her Thoughts on Laurel Hubbard, the First Transgender Olympian

Bettina Dizon
Aug 09, 2021
09:20 P.M.
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US national weightlifter Laura Mariel shared her thoughts on transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's first Olympic debut and women's equality in sports.

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Laurel Hubbard made history as the first transgender to compete in the women's super-heavyweight division for weightlifting in this year's Tokyo Olympics. However, her debut was met with diverse reactions from both men and women.

Recently, another weightlifter, Laura Mariel, aired her sentiments on TikTok after receiving a question about transgender athletes competing in sports games.

Laurel Hubbard represents New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

Laurel Hubbard represents New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020. | Source: Getty Images

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MARIEL'S RESPONSE

Mariel, a national weightlifting competitor in the heavyweight division, claimed that many ask the question "as an excuse for their bigotry." She added:

"A lot of people that are concerned about transgender women in sports have not given a flying [expletive] about me as a female athlete."

Those people are apathetic towards the inequalities of female athletes in salary, opportunities, and fame, yet suddenly ask about the competitive nature of having a transgender person in the sports industry, Mariel said.

Laura Mariel shares her sentiments on having a transgender woman in weightlifting competitions. | Source: tiktok.com/@burritos_and_adhd

Laura Mariel shares her sentiments on having a transgender woman in weightlifting competitions. | Source: tiktok.com/@burritos_and_adhd

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SUPPORTING HER WORDS

Reactions to Mariel's video were diverse comments, with some claiming that she did not directly answer the question and instead dodged it to avoid stirring an issue. However, one supporter reiterated her words on Twitter. He said:

"Most asking this question want their biases against transgender people confirmed, not corrected. There is no actual answer that will satisfy their curiosity because they don't actually want an answer."

Another social media user agreed with Mariel, claiming that people have not cared long enough to campaign for gender equality in sports but are suddenly interested when a transgender person comes into play.

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WEIGHTLIFTING SILENCE

Unlike Mariel, the women in this year's weightlifting Olympics did not have much to say about a transgender woman competing against them.

The athlete failed her first attempt to raise a 120 kg bar above her head.

During a press conference with athletes Li Wenwen, Emily Campbell, and Sarah Robles, a journalist asked about the women's feelings about Hubbard joining the competition. For nearly ten seconds, the room observed an awkward silence until Robles said, "no, thank you."

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LAUREL HUBBARD

Hubbard represented New Zealand in the games but was eliminated on Monday after failing to complete her lifts. The athlete failed her first attempt to raise a 120 kg bar above her head.

She was able to do so in the second attempt but could not lock her arms, which was not counted as a proper lift. Her third attempt was not successful either.

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