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Posted by: Charles Apr 8 2018, 11:04 AM
Commonwealth Games: Split in Pacific ranks over transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard

Pacific Beat
By Richard Ewart on the Gold Coast

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Photo: Laurel Hubbard is favoured to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. (Supplied: Linda Brothers/IWF)

One of the most controversial moments of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will come when Laurel Hubbard, the transgender weightlifter from New Zealand, takes to the stage in the women's +90 kilogram category.

Since Hubbard became eligible to compete in international events at the start of last year, she has polarised views in the weightlifting community, particularly in the Pacific.

Head coach of the Samoan team Jerry Wallwork remains firmly opposed to Hubbard competing at the Games.

"A man is a man and a woman is a woman and I know a lot of changes have gone through, but in the past Laurel Hubbard used to be a male champion weightlifter," he said.

Secretary-general of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute Paul Coffa takes a much more conciliatory line.

"She's a lovely girl, she spent a few weeks with us at the institute," he said.

"It is a very sensitive question. The fact is the Government of NZ has given her a passport for a female.

"She's done everything according to the IOC rules and she's proven that she's a woman."

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Photo: Laurel Hubbard is competing in the +90 kilogram category. (Supplied: Joseph McCray/IWF)

While those are the facts, Wallwork still struggles with the idea of Hubbard competing alongside his women lifters.

"The strength is still there and I think it's very unfair, and for all females it's unfair," he said.

"The situation may have been accepted by the IOC, but that won't stop us from protesting, regardless of whether it's against one of our lifters or not.

"It's just very unfair."

Hubbard unbeatable, says Oceania coach

But there will be no protest from Coffa, even though he concedes that none of the Pacific lifters can defeat Hubbard.

"As a man, Hubbard lifted 330 kilos, the strength is there," he said.

"She will win the gold medal, nobody will beat her at these Games, no one.

"You can't stop criticism, but I see it differently, she's done what she's required to do, so give her a chance and let her continue."

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Photo: There is mixed opinion on Laurel Hubbard's right to compete. (Supplied: Elieko/IWF)

The New Zealand weightlifting team arrived for the Commonwealth Games without Hubbard, who opted to leave her arrival to the last minute, and she has already declined to give any media interviews before her event.

New Zealand high performance director Simon Kent described Hubbard as "an introverted character".

"Laurel is Laurel. We want to keep things as normal as we can," he said.

"She is very comfortable with who she is and she is participating in a sport she loves.

"At 40 years of age, this is her last chance to compete on this sort of stage."

Adding to the controversy, Hubbard may have a Commonwealth record in her sights, one that is currently held by Samoa's Olympic silver medallist, Ele Opeloge.

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Photo: Laurel Hubbard won a silver medal at the world championships last year. (Supplied: Elieko/IWF)

I agree with the Samoan coach. This is very unfair.

Laurel Hubbard may very well have undergone surgery to qualify her as a woman, but the fact remains she has the muscle and bone structure of a man.

Posted by: Alicia Apr 8 2018, 11:41 AM
Our modern way is to have a label for nearly everything and everyone, so lets do male, female and trans. Everyone in their labelledbox.

Posted by: scepo Apr 8 2018, 04:43 PM
Excellent idea Alicia.

Rep up for that.

Posted by: Phillip J. Apr 8 2018, 06:47 PM
My wife said essentially the same thing. It's ridiculous to think that people can, (regardless of surgery) just walk in and say "I'm a female now!" and compete like that! It's not much point in saying "She's a lovely girl, etc." when in reality, 'she' looks like 'she' could out-do Arnie on a bad day! How is that remotely fair?

Posted by: Alicia Apr 9 2018, 09:37 AM
Thankyou Scepo.😉

Posted by: Flin Apr 9 2018, 10:13 AM
To gain a bit of gender balance on site ,would a couple of male members volunteer for a sex change.

Posted by: charka Apr 9 2018, 11:26 AM
Cheating by any means Just like the leadershit

Posted by: Phillip J. Apr 9 2018, 01:21 PM
Will it hurt?

Posted by: Alicia Apr 9 2018, 01:43 PM
Is it a plot by men to infiltrate female sports?

Posted by: Phillip J. Apr 9 2018, 04:51 PM
It's either that, Alicia, or perhaps some "men" have actually lost...the plot!

Posted by: Alicia Apr 9 2018, 04:54 PM

Posted by: scepo Apr 10 2018, 06:17 AM
QUOTE (Flin @ Apr 9 2018, 10:13 AM)
To gain a bit of gender balance on site ,would a couple of male members volunteer for a sex change.

Depends how much you are willing to pay.

Posted by: Jonno Apr 10 2018, 11:33 AM
You can take the boy out of a man but never a girl. A man is a man, is a man.
The Frankenstein creations were also freaks.

Posted by: charka Apr 10 2018, 05:01 PM
How much change would i get

Posted by: Charles Apr 10 2018, 06:45 PM
I see that he/she had to withdraw after injuring his/her elbow while lifting.

Posted by: Bill Apr 11 2018, 01:02 AM
QUOTE (Flin @ Apr 9 2018, 10:13 AM)
To gain a bit of gender balance on site ,would a couple of male members volunteer for a sex change.

I'd like to nominate charka - he'd be such a pretty bitch. No offence charka.

Posted by: charka Apr 11 2018, 07:16 AM
i find myself somewhat aroused towards you Bill

Posted by: Alicia Apr 11 2018, 08:55 AM
I will tiptoe away and leave you two to it.

Posted by: Phillip J. Apr 11 2018, 09:29 PM
I'm looking away as we "speak!" 😍

Posted by: scepo Apr 12 2018, 05:57 PM
They make a luvvely pair eh?

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