Olympics: First transgender athlete: BBC News Review reviews

February 12, 2023

Laurel Hubbard will become the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympics. Hubbard is a weightlifter from New Zealand and will take part in the Tokyo Olympics. Hubbard previously competed in men’s competitions before transitioning in 2012.

Learn vocabulary to talk about this news story.

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Video chapters:
0:00​​​​​​​​​​ – Introduction
0:30 – Story
1:38 – Headline 1: Trans weightlifter Laurel Hubbard set to make history at Tokyo Olympics
4:33​​ – Headline 2: ‘Polarizing topic’: Sides grapple with fairness of trans women competing on female teams
7:46​​​​​​​​ – Headline 3: Controversy brews over transgender weightlifter set to create history at Tokyo Olympics
10:37 – Language summary

The story
The New Zealand weightlifter, Laurel Hubbard, is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics. The country’s Olympic Committee has named her as part of the women’s team for the Tokyo Games.

Hubbard competed in men’s competitions before transitioning in 2012.

Key words and phrases

Trans issues have gained more media attention in recent years.
Some countries have laws in place to protect trans people.

very divisive

The election has had a polarising effect on the country.
The recent lockdown has polarised opinion in this community.

becomes stronger

Who will be selected for the Olympics? Speculation is brewing!
An argument is brewing over whose turn it is to do the washing up.

Test your understanding on our website at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview/unit-18/session-199

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  1. Hello! If you're enjoying our channel, why not hit the notification bell – we'll let you know when we upload a new video so you'll never miss a thing!

  2. Who will be selected for the Olympics? Speculation is brewing.
    An argument is brewing over whose turn it is to do washing up.

  3. The election has had a polarizing effect on the country.
    The recent lockdown has polarized opinion in this community.

  4. Trans issues have gained more media attention in recent years.
    Some countries have laws in place to protect trans people.

  5. Obviously this guy was to much of a pussy to compete as a man so he needs to be a woman to win. This is so stupid

  6. Trans men are men, trans women are women. There's so much hate in these comments. The fact intersex people exist just proves how arbitrary gender lines are.

  7. Bye bye women sport and women right. Liberalism are cancer

  8. RIP women’s sport.

  9. Gavin was a mediocre male weightlifter, now he's decided he's going to be a top female weightlifter. It's a no win situation, if he doesn't win he's a pathetic loser, if he does win the whole sport is the loser.

  10. everyone against this are all transphobic, uneducated and disgusting in general! she is clearly under the testosterone threshold of that of a women which is responsible for bone density, muscle mass and other such things so instead of just classifying gender based purely on what type of genitals a person had when they were born why dont we just accept the fact that this persons hormonal levels, mind and body are more related to a women than a man. IT IS MORE UNFAIR FOR THIS PERSON TO COMPETE WITH MEN AND LESS UNFAIR FOR HER TO COMPETE WITH WOMEN. The track and field events are mostly filled with black athletes whom all scientifically have more testosterone and hormonal advantages to that of an asian athelete but we cant have separate events for different races of men in olympics likewise its not possible to have a separate competition for trans people because of the lack competitors and they themselves identify themselves either as men or women. so if she clearly passes the test by ioc why dont we just simply not strip all her dreams and rights and just let her participate?

  11. This bullshit he still produce testosterone not far for woman


  13. Your voices are so addictive! 💖

  14. he grew as big as a tree as a man , he is twice as big as all his women opponents ! but now is just a giant girl a 400 pound 6ft 5 inch competing in girls sports if he wins he should be ashamed . he brought a truck to a girl event ! trans dont want to open that door !

  15. There is no such thing as a 43 year old woman weightlifter in Olympic competition. He was born an man and will die as a man. No if ands or BUTTS about it.

  16. He is not a she but he is still a he until the day HE dies.

  17. The stupidity of this actually happening feels like I’m truly living in a George Orwell novel !

  18. I love this video . I have learned more words and this is a good step to improve my vocabulary . Thank you BBC L. E …
    Your follower from Algeria .

  19. Can wait for these transgender to give natural birth like a real women, when they settle down and make a transfamily

  20. Women sports will fade away to the rise of transgender sports. While men sports will be dominated by men only. Feminist and transgender folks must really hate biological women. Men thank feminist and transgender folks, making more real women available to become wives.

  21. Let's have a brew! 🍵

  22. LGBT lesbian, gay,bisexual and transgender. Are Nice and friendly people they deseve full respect guys.🤣🤣🤣🤑🤑😂😂😭😭

  23. If this man could identify as a woman, he might as well identify as an Olympic gold medal winning woman and saved himself all that training and the bother of actually competing.

  24. What a shame, bc the women competing are REAL athletes, in every sense of the word. This MAN is not.

  25. If gender in sport is so interchangeable then they may as well just not have a men’s or woman’s category but they won’t, because it’s unfair

  26. I wonder if you can bet on whether or not a world record will be broken and what the odds would be like for such a bet.

  27. Transgender atheltes are unfair

  28. I doubt that you will see trans women wanting to compete against males in the weightlifting sport, for good reason.

  29. Execellent friends as always, interesting topic so well dealt by you both. Thanks so much.

  30. Amazing session for learn.

  31. Where are Feminists! this man is taking what belongs to you. Allot of woman trying their best, working hard, to compete with a Man? jeeeee

  32. Who agrees with this?

  33. but can it give birth

  34. I'm one of yours fans becouse give us explanations about relevants topics .catherin you're the best for me.if i can't listening miss so much.from argentina best wishes.

  35. This is hilarious. I'd love to watch that event.

  36. Without CC function, I listen to the conversation more times. XD

  37. Why not offer three Olympic categories; male female, transgender? Seems simple enough unless you are one of our overlords that loves to divide and conquer for endless belly laughs.

    Who watches the Olympics anymore anyway?

  38. Thank you for sharing new knowledge and new words

  39. Funny how men who identify as women win all the women events, while women who identify as men win nothing.

  40. what a shit show….

  41. Selfish dude identifies himself as woman

  42. Today's word is moronic.

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