Awkward silence after reporter asks women’s weightlifting medalists about transgender athlete

A reporter was met with silence after he posed a question to a panel of women’s weightlifting medalists about how they felt about the transgender competitor Laurel Hubbard.

The awkward moment came during a press conference, with Li Wenwen of China, Emily Campbell of Great Britain, and Sarah Robles of the United States answering questions from journalists.

New Zealand lifter Hubbard, was not on the podium, but her name has been widely circulated after making history as the first trans athlete to compete in the Olympics.

A journalist asked for the group’s thoughts about her featuring the competition.

“There was a historic night here with Laurel Hubbard competing as the first openly transgender in an individual event,” the reporter said via the Independent.

“I was wondering what you felt about that and what you felt that it took place in your sport.”

Nine seconds of awkward then silence followed.

Finally Robles addressed the question.

“No thank you,” she said.

Hubbard competed in the women’s +87kg weightlifting final in Tokyo – but failed to register a clean lift.

“I know that from a sporting perspective I haven’t really hit the standards that I put upon myself and perhaps the standards that my country has expected of me,” Ms Hubbard said

. “But one of the things for which I am profoundly grateful is that the supporters in New Zealand have given me so much and have been beyond astonishing.”

“I’d like to thank the New Zealand Olympic Committee. They have supported me through what have been quite difficult times. I know that my participation at these Games has not been entirely without controversy but they have been just so wonderful and I’m so grateful to them.”

Featured image credit: Getty