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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke August 6, 2021

Old photo shows Laurel Hubbard winning gold, but not at the Olympics

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  • This photo shows Laurel Hubbard winning gold in 2019 at the Pacific Games, not in 2021 at the Olympics. 

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first openly transgender woman to compete in the Olympics, didn’t win a medal in Tokyo, but a photo that’s being shared on social media has led some people to believe otherwise. 

"Congrats to this man who identifies as female on winning the women’s weight lifting competition must be so proud," one Facebook post said. It shows a photo of Hubbard standing on what appears to be a first place podium and wearing medals around her neck. 

But this photo isn’t from the 2021 Olympic Games.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The picture of Hubbard is from 2019, when she won gold at the Pacific Games in Samoa. The words "Pacific Games" and "Samoa" and "2019" are all visible in the photo. 

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But some people seeing this photo on social media seemed confused about the context of the image. 

"People should just stop watching Olympics in support of these women," one person commented on the Facebook post, referring to Hubbard’s competitors, who are also shown in the image. "This is just not fair." 

"He should participate in the trans Olympics," someone else wrote. "Why didn’t the real women withdraw?" 

Hubbard has drawn wide attention, both positive and negative, since securing her place at the Olympics. After competing, she said she would retire from professional weightlifting and said she was "looking forward to this being the end of my journey as an athlete and the attention that comes from it." 

Claims that this photo shows her winning a medal at the Olympics are wrong. We rate it False.


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Old photo shows Laurel Hubbard winning gold, but not at the Olympics

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