More than 21,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the New Zealand transgender athlete, Laurel Hubbard, be removed from the Olympic team.
Hubbard currently competes in the women's super-heavyweight competition. However, she previously competed in men's weightlifting competition before she transitioned in 2013.
After switching genders, she managed to qualify for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, and many people have an issue with that.
Many people think the ruling was unfair to women and are therefore working to have it overturned. According to those resisting Hubbard's right to compete as a woman, the athlete has an "unfair advantage" in these games.
The Petition Seeks To Get 25,000 Signatures
The petition aims to get 25,000 signatures, and it claims that athletes born as men but identify as women are taking women's places on sports teams. Apparently, they are also "breaking women's sporting records" and demanding to "share changing and showering facilities" with them.
The petition claims that this is unfair because these athletes have an "incontrovertible physical advantage" over athletes who were born women.
Additionally, the petition explains that this rule will negatively affect female athletes as some women will be unable to participate in the sporting event for "religious and cultural reasons."
In 2015, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) decided that transgender women could take part in the world-famous competition. The only requirement was that their testosterone levels did not exceed a particular limit.
Those who created the petition do not think this is a reliable way of ensuring that a transgender athlete was competing on the same level as a female-born athlete. Allegedly, the ruling "completely ignores the physical advantages in speed, height, stamina, and strength that a male-born athlete will have."
Women Not Consulted During The Landmark Ruling
The petition also takes issue with the fact that women were not consulted before the policy was introduced. Neither did they consent to the ruling, which they consider "a complete mockery of the sport."
Those opposed to Hubbard's participation in the Olympics include Anna Vanbellinghen, a Belgian weightlifter. Although she insists she has no problem against transgender people, she feels that this level of inclusivity comes "at the expense of others."
She pointed out that those who have competed at high levels know that this situation is unfair to the sport or the athletes. Because of the decision the IOC made, Vanbellinghen believes that "life-changing opportunities are missed for some athletes," including medals and Olympic qualifications.
The Belgian weightlifter insists that allowing transgender athletes such as Hubbard to participate in the sport leaves female-born athletes like herself "powerless."