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New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard became the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics. Ina Fried/Axios

Laurel Hubbard, speaking to reporters after becoming the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics, on Tuesday expressed gratitude for the opportunity to compete as an athlete and convince transgender people to work through adversity.

What she's saying: "All I have ever really wanted as an athlete is just to be regarded as an athlete," Hubbard, said in response to a question from Axios. "I suppose the thing I have been so grateful here in Tokyo is just being given those opportunities to just go through life as any other athlete."

Details: Hubbard met for about half an hour with a small group of journalists at a Tokyo hotel on Tuesday, hours after competing in the women's +87 Kg weightlifting competition. She exited after being unsuccessful in her first three lifts.

Between the lines: Asked what message she had for fellow transgender people, Hubbard said: "My message is simply this: Life is difficult. There are always setbacks and disappointments, but if there is one message to go for, it is this, it gets better."

  • Hubbard said she has tried not to dwell on negative attention from from traditional and social media, "because it makes a hard job even harder."
"It's hard enough lifting a barbell but if you are putting more weight on it, then it makes it just an impossible task, really."
— Transgender Olympian Laurel Hubbard, to reporters on Friday.

What's next: Hubbard said she doesn't know whether she plans to continue competing.

  • "I think in order to get to this level of competition you have to be exceptionally single minded. That doesn't really leave a lot of room to think about what comes next. Working toward those answers is something that starts today. We'll just have to see."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This article has been updated with further comment from Hubbard and to embed the YouTube video.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 20, 2021 - Technology

Netflix workers walk out over handling of Dave Chappelle special

Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Workers at a Netflix office in Los Angeles and its Los Gatos. California, headquarters staged a protest on Wednesday over the company's handling of anti-transgender comments made by Dave Chappelle in his latest comedy special for the service.

Why it matters: The move comes amid growing controversy over Netflix's handling of the situation, which has also included the firing of one transgender employee for allegedly leaking company information.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Peloton's wild ride and possible buyers

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Peloton is having a bumpy ride, and has become a source of fascination among even those who've never invested or clipped in.

Driving the news: On Monday, a hedge fund with less than a 5% stake in Peloton called for CEO John Foley to be fired and for the connected fitness company to consider seeking a strategic buyer. Shares gained nearly 10% on the news, but remained down 16.2% for the year and off 80% their December 2020 peak.

Scoop: Republicans probe NBC over Beijing Olympics coverage

Photo: Oscar del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent a letter to NBC Universal executives voicing concerns about "the extent of influence the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) may have over NBCUniversal’s coverage of the games."

Why it matters: The human rights abuses committed by the CCP have been the subject of intense scrutiny ahead of this year's Winter Games in Beijing. Activists last year sent a letter to NBC executives urging the network to cancel plans to cover the Olympics.

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