Flat White

Time for a sports revolution: let’s have Gender of Origin

24 June 2021

12:14 PM

24 June 2021

12:14 PM

The SpecOz has already registered disgust at New Zealand male-born Laurel – formerly Gavin – Hubbard’s selection in the Kiwi Olympic team as a female weightlifter, notwithstanding her brick outhouse male physique and testosterone levels.

I’ve argued Hubbard should regret her selfishness and quit competitive sport, and that remains my view.

But what if the IOC took inspiration from Australia and our single most brilliant innovation to elite competitive sport – State of Origin?

In both rugby league and Aussie rules, interstate contests used to be heavily lopsided, as the best interstate players were recruited by the then VFL and NSW Rugby League, and then played for those states.  State of Origin not only evened up the competition, but made it hugely entertaining, exciting, and very, very popular.  While the AFL version withered, rugby league’s State of Origin series has evolved to be the greatest and most passionate sporting rivalry in these parts, something every league fan obsesses about.  Even WuFlu hasn’t stopped it.


Back to Laurel Hubbard. Instead of letting her steamroll her fully-female rivals, if it won’t ban Hubbard, the IOC should decree that henceforth athletes compete according to their gender of origin.

In other words, treat Hubbard, and any other male transgender athletes, as the biological males they are, not the women they either became or merely identify as.

Then, Hubbard would be up against comparable competition, mixing it on an equal footing – bloke’s body against blokes’ bodies.  She would be forced to prove herself as being more than the mediocre male weightlifter she was said to be before turned female, and women athletes would be spared being totally outclassed by a physical cuckoo in their nest.

As for we punters, we could cheer Laurel on, urging her to do the impossible against the odds. Surely, it’s better to set rules that make for such a sporting fairy-tale, rather than leaving them as they are now for women’s weightlifting: as fair as a rigged Russian election.

It won’t happen. So, like an East German female swimmer, Hubbard is a tank who will roll over her physically less well-endowed rivals. Should she win, hers will be a tainted gold medal. All for the glory of the hardly pure Olympic ‘movement’.

Terry Barnes edits our daily newsletter, the Morning Double Shot. You can sign up for your Morning Double Shot of news and comment here.

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