The first openly transgender Olympian said on Tuesday she would retire from weightlifting and felt her landmark appearance at the Tokyo Games should be fast forgotten as sport takes greater strides to be more inclusive.
New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard, 43, said she had never sought publicity, nor regards herself a role model or trailblazer, but just wants to be treated like any other athlete on sport’s biggest stage.
“I don’t think it should be historic. I think as we move into a new and more understanding world, people are starting to realize that people like me are just people,” Hubbard said of her participation in Tokyo, which was among the most contentious issues ahead of the Olympics.
“We are human and, as such, I hope that just being here is enough,” she said in a rare interview with international media.
“All I have ever wanted as an athlete is to be regarded as an athlete.”
The soft-spoken, media-shy Hubbard made an unexpected early exit on Monday, eliminated 10 minutes into her +87kg contest after failures in her opening three lifts.
Hubbard, who was born male and transitioned eight years ago, competed in Tokyo under the rules of a 2015 International Olympic Committee (IOC) consensus on trans athletes. The IOC is currently reviewing those guidelines.
Her participation has stoked a huge debate on whether being more inclusive towards transgender women athletes means disadvantaging those born as women.
The IOC’s critics argue transgender athletes have an edge in skeletal and muscular development from being born male and say rules allowing trans athletes to contest women’s events could be abused by countries seeking to win more Olympic medals.
Advocates for trans athletes dismiss that as extremely unlikely, saying hormone therapy during transition negates perceived performance advantages.
Hubbard, who was twice the age of her competitors, said she was considering retiring because age had caught up with her and weightlifting had taken a physical toll.
“What I hope is, if I am in a position to look back, that this will just be a small part of history, just a small step,” Hubbard said.
“I really hope that with time, any significance to this occasion is diminished by things to come.”
She said she was no icon for trans athletes.
“I hope that just by being here, I can provide some sense of encouragement,” she said.
“I just hope that different people who are undergoing any difficulty or struggle … that they can perhaps see that there are opportunities in the world. There are opportunities to live authentically, and as we are.”
Save Women’s Sport Australasia, which has urged more scientific study and regulations on transgender athletes, said the IOC had been rash in determining that biological males who identify as women could compete in women’s sports.
“It feels quite wrong that New Zealander Laurel Hubbard has borne the brunt of what is quite obviously a flawed policy,” it said in a statement.
Hubbard applauded the IOC for being courageous but agreed more conversation and studies were necessary.
She believes the negative attention on her was based on emotion rather than principles and that people were reacting out of fear.
“I tried not to dwell on negative coverage or perception because it makes a hard job even harder,” she said.
“It’s hard enough lifting a barbell. But if you’re putting more weight on it, it makes it an impossible task really.”
US Soccer announces both men and women will split the prize money from FIFA
Atlanta, United States of America (USA)- The US Soccer Federation (USSF) has announced soccer players representing the United States men’s and women’s national teams will receive the same pay and prize money, including at World Cups.
Under the new deals, which run through 2028 and cover the next four World Cups, dozens of top men’s and women’s players have been told in internal presentations that they can expect to collect average annual payouts of about US$450 000 from the USSF and potentially more than double that in successful World Cup years.
The deal also encompasses other areas such as child care, parental leave, short-term disability, mental health impairment, travel and equal quality of venues and field playing surfaces.
“This is a truly historic moment. The first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.
US Soccer and the USWNT (United States Women’s National Soccer Team) and USMNT (United States Men’s National Soccer Team) players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States,” said USSF president, Cindy Parlow.
This latest development comes after the USSF was ordered to pay US$24 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit with a group of past and present USWNT stars.
As part of their settlement, the group of women’s players will divide US$22 million, which was around a third of what they had originally hoped to seal, with the extra US$2 million used to establish a fund that helps the players navigate their post-soccer careers and women’s sports to grow.
Formula 1 sets 22 races for 2022 & 3 sprinting events
London, England- Formula 1 has confirmed that there will be 22 races for the 2022 calendar and 3 sprinting events.
The move follows Formula 1’s decision to permanently cancel Russia’s race at Sochi in the wake of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
Formula 1 organizers cancelled the event shortly after Russia’s military operations in February leaving the original slot open as they worked through various replacement options to fit with the original schedule.
Following the cancellation, Formula 1 received plenty of interest from host venues but had to work out if any addition would prove beneficial to the schedule rather than increase costs in terms of logistics.
With the original 23-race number set to be a record for a Formula 1 season, the event organizers then decided the most efficient approach was to simply drop the race that was originally slated for September 25 and leave two weeks between the previous three-straight slate in Europe and the following back-to-back weekends in Singapore and Japan.
Meanwhile, the number of sprint qualifying events that had been expected to be doubled to six this year will remain at three.
However, according to McLaren’s CEO, Zak Brown, Formula 1 teams are in favour of more sprints, “We tried to get six sprint races off last year, which obviously didn’t happen for this year. I think all the teams voted in favour of six sprint races now we have seen the data which tells us it creates more fan awareness, and that’s what I think is most important in growing the sport, how do our fans respond when we try new activities?”
Revised 2022 Formula 1 Calendar:
- Bahrain GP (Sakhir) March 20
- Saudi Arabian GP (Jeddah) March 27
- Australian GP (Melbourne) April 10
- Emilia Romagna GP (Imola) April 24
- Miami GP (Miami) May 8
- Spanish GP (Barcelona) May 22
- Monaco GP (Monaco) May 29
- Azerbaijan GP (Baku) June 12
- Canadian GP (Montreal) June 19
- British GP (Silverstone) July 3
- Austrian GP (Spielberg) July 10
- French GP (Paul Ricard) July 24
- Hungarian GP (Budapest) July 31
- Belgian GP (Spa) August 28
- Dutch GP (Zandvoort) September 4
- Italian GP (Monza) September 11
- Singapore GP (Marina Bay) October 2
- Japanese GP (Suzuka) October 9
- United States GP (Austin) October 23
- Mexico City GP (Mexico City) October 30
- Sao Paulo GP (Interlagos) November 13
- Abu Dhabi GP (Yas Marina) November 20
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CFL strike ends after league, players reach tentative agreement on new CBA – TSN
The first Canadian Football League strike in nearly 40 years ended Wednesday night, opening the door for the full resumption of training camps and the first on-time start to the regular season since 2019.
The CFL and the CFL Players’ Association reached a tentative seven-year deal on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Wednesday, less than 96 hours after the strike began when talks broke off.
Monday’s preseason game in Saskatchewan between the Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers is being rescheduled – an announcement is expected on Thursday – but in terms of actual casualties because of this labour stoppage, that’s it.
The end result is a deal – which still has to be ratified by the league’s board of governors and CFLPA members – that produces measureable gains for the players in several areas including health and safety, revenue sharing, salary cap, and guaranteed contracts.
There are tangible measures to slow player turnover, which has long been a CFL problem ignored in collective bargaining.
The big question mark economically is how meaningful the revenue sharing formula will prove to be for the players, and whether they will truly be able to share in any league prosperity.
There is always much debate about the state of the business in Canadian football, but this deal suggests that not all is doom and gloom. Coming off two years in which the league suffered massive losses from a lost 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and significant ones off a reduced 14-game schedule in 2021, the CFL did not bargain like a league that was on its last legs.
It provided minimum annual increases to the salary cap that are double those prescribed in the last CBA. And the league signed a deal that provides far more than what’s been given in recent memory. All of which suggests there must be some optimism about what lies ahead, barely a year after the CFL parted ways with the idea of merging with the XFL.
So if there was so much ‘give’ from the owners side on this deal, what did they owners ‘get’ in return?
Essentially, besides the term of the deal, the league gained flexibility for its teams in how the league’s ratio of Canadians is applied. The CFL ratio is always the most hotly debated, misunderstood and controversial aspect of Canadian football – people tend to love it or hate it.
The league itself tends to love it … well, sort of.
There’s never been an intent to eliminate the league’s quota for 21 Canadian players on every roster, seven of whom have to be starters.
But reduce it? Sure, the league’s always been open to that and the players’ association has always opposed it.
The uncomfortable truth in all of this is reducing the ratio improves the quality of the game, and improving the quality of the game is something with which the league has become acutely concerned about of late. That’s not a knock on Canadians. It’s just a recognition that the numbers of players in the United States far, far, far outnumber those north of the border.
The sides came up with a solution that preserves the seven Canadian starters but provides for more flexibility for coaches to use American players than they would have been able to in the past. Specifically, veteran American players, those who’ve spent at least three years with their team or five in the league, will be allowed to play as Canadians in some circumstances.
That not only is going to put more of the best players on the field, it’s going to give additional value to American veterans, which slows roster turnover, another key issue this agreement effectively addresses.
Players have a strong incentive to re-sign with their teams, since that allows up to 50 per cent of the final years of their contracts to be guaranteed.
Overall, both the movement of players from team-to-team and out of the league should slow, which is a true win-win for players, fans and general managers.
It’s hard to imagine what the world of Canadian football will be like in 2029, when the new CBA expires.
No doubt much will have changed.
The league is marching into that future with a new collective bargaining agreement that addresses many longstanding issues in the CFL.
Who wins on the business side is hard to say, given all the uncertainties that lie ahead.
But right now all that matters to most is that collective bargaining has been put to bed and the CFL is finally ready to embark on a full season of football.
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