Transgender Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Almost Dislocates Arm During Competition

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Earlier this year, the Australian Weightlifting Federation failed in a formal application to block Hubbard from the Games.

She had been favourite to win gold, but hurt her elbow during her third and final snatch, while taking the lead with a 120kg lift, made during her first attempt.

Wallwork had controversially claimed: "A man is a man and a woman is a woman and I know a lot of changes have gone through". It was a sad end to the competition for her and a convenient one for all those people who have been watching with incredulity.

"She was a champion weightlifter as a man", said Melbourne resident Paul Shannon outside the venue.

Despite doing everything she could do to prove she deserved her place in the event, Hubbard was forced to endure repeated attempts to stop her from taking part.

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"I never thought to compete with her because of (her) high total, all she wanted to do was get a result and get a medal".

Then, as I put on my hard-bitten sports reporter's trilby, I had to question what seemed like a terrible tactical move that may have played a part in her Games downfall.

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

"It seems likely that I have ruptured a ligament or some fairly significant tissue damage, but until we have further scanning we won't know the details or extent of the injury".

At Carrara Sports Arena, Hubbard was second only to Australia's Deb Lovely-Acason in terms of crowd popularity when the athletes were introduced.

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"I would just hope that today, that this athlete, we don't detract or take away from how special this moment in time could be for this athlete".

Hubbard, who spent most of her life as Gavin before transitioning, won two medals at last year's world championships.

The CEO of the Australian Weightlifting Federation Michael Keelan has asked the Olympic Committee to clarify why Hubbard has been approved to compete in the female branch, and said: "Ultimately, it is our strong view that weightlifting has always been a gender-specific sport, male and female, not a competition among individuals of various levels of testosterone".

An emotional Stowers declined to speak directly to reporters but a Samoa team official said the lifter felt "shocked and so happy" that Hubbard had withdrawn.

While Hubbard's afternoon did not go to script, history was still made and discussions will continue.

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"I think you have to be true to yourself and I hope in this case, that's what I have done".

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