Women barred from Olympics for being ‘manly’

From left to right: Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, Uganda's Annet Negesa and South Africa's Caster Semenya in one of the races.

What you need to know:

  • From an African perspective it does not help matters that a white biological-male athlete, who identifies as a woman, from New Zealand, Laurel Hubbard, has been designated eligible for female classification and will compete in the women’s weightlifters contest in the 2020 Olympics. 
  • Hubbard, 43, will compete in the women’s 87-kg weightlifting category following her gender transitioning in 2012. Hubbard became eligible to compete at the Olympics when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2015 changed its rules allowing transgender athletes to compete as women if their testosterone levels are below the allowed threshold.

One day, Annet Negesa was pushing her body to endure and make her the champion she believed she was born to be. On another day, her Olympics dreams were crushed because she was faster, stronger.

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