Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard finally got to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.
It didn’t last long, but it was significant.
Hubbard couldn’t complete any of her first three lifts on Monday night, ruling her out of medal contention in the women’s over-87-kilogram division.
Hubbard made a heart gesture to the audience with her hands before leaving the competition arena. Even without completing a lift, she was a pioneer for transgender athletes.
According to Reuters, she is now among the first openly transgender athletes to compete at the Olympics. Canadian soccer player Quinn was on the brink of becoming the first openly transgender Olympic medalist after Canada advanced to the women’s final against Sweden, NBC reported. They came out earlier this year.
Hubbard has been out for years and has been the focus of attention as a medal contender in weightlifting.
“I would particularly like to thank the IOC, for I think really affirming its commitment to the principles of Olympism and establishing that sport is something for all people, that it is inclusive and is accessible,” she said, per Reuters.