Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has suffered what is likely a career-ending elbow injury at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The New Zealand athlete was reportedly leading with a lift of 120kg in her 90kg-plus class on Monday, but injured her arm after attempting to lift 132kg and was forced to withdraw.
Hubbard said she had ruptured a ligament in her left elbow and added on Tuesday doctors had informed her the injury was likely career-ending and she would bow out of the sport.
“I would like to thank everyone for their support,” the 40-year-old said in a statement to Stuff.co.nz.
“I am waiting to see specialists back in NZ but it is likely the ruptured ligament in my arm will be career-ending.
“I have always believed it is not enough just to wear the silver fern and I do not regret pushing myself to try to deliver my best-possible performance.”
Hubbard is the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at a Commonwealth Games, but since qualifying last year has faced calls for her to be banned from the competition.
The head of the Australian Weightlifting Federation earlier this year called for her to be banned from the women’s division.
But the International Olympic Committee ruled Hubbard had undergone at least one year of hormone therapy and was recording sufficiently low levels of testosterone.
Hubbard said earlier this week her reception at the Commonwealth Games had “felt like a big embrace.”
“They really made me try to lift my best. I gave it everything and I regret I wasn’t able to make the lift today,” she said.
“The Commonwealth Games here are a model for what sport can, and should, be.
“It’s an incredible environment and an amazing atmosphere. Without any doubt, they have lived up to the mantra of humanity, equality and decency.”
The 2018 Commonwealth Games is running on the Gold Coast until April 15.