Laurel Hubbard, the New Zealand weightlifter (pictured above), has been picked as the first ever transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics. It has been seen as a highly controversial decision. Hubbard is due to compete in the +87kg women’s weightlifting event next week in Tokyo. If she wins gold, there will no doubt be further outcry and claims from some cis-women weightlifters to the tune of: “ She is stealing our medals. ”
The trans debate in sport is regarded as relatively recent and yet, back in 1977, a player called René e Richards appeared on the pro tennis scene. A spectator thought she recognised that swinging leftie serve coming off the powerful 6 ’ 2” frame and Renée was outed in the press. For she had actually been born Richard Raskin. Raskin had transitioned from male to female and was now playing on the women ’ s tour.