In protest of new policies in Canada allowing athletes to self-identify as the gender of their choosing, a male powerlifter shattered the record set by a trans-identified male in the women’s division after he identified as a woman, allowing access to the division.
Avi Silverberg competed at the Heroes Classic Powerlifting Meet in the Women’s 84+ kilogram category, where trans-identified biological male powerlifter Anne Andres held the record of 25 pounds.
Silverberg approached the platform in a men’s singlet and beard, sat down on the bench, and pressed nearly 370 pounds, beating the current Alberta women’s record. According to the New York Post, Andres was seen watching Silverberg while volunteering at the event.
Andres also holds the Alberta women’s record for the deadlift, 544 pounds, giving Andres the local record for the total of all three lifts at a combined 1,245 pounds.
Silverberg has been the head coach for Team Canada Powerlifting for more than 10 years.
ICONS said Silverberg "mocked the discriminatory [Canadian Powerlifting Union] policy" which allows competitors to register for events under their "gender identity and expression, rather than their sex or gender," with "no consequences" for doing so.
CPU’s policy states that athletes "should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify and not be subject to requirements for disclosure of personal information beyond those required of cisgender athletes."
"Nor should there be any requirement for hormonal therapy or surgery," the rules add.
The union’s registration policy for competitions states that a competitor’s "government-issued photo identification (excluding Youth lifters) must be verified during the weigh-in or equipment check, including date of birth, province and gender at all competitions."
It is unclear whether Silverberg presented an ID.
In a video responding to the event, Andres said that Silverberg had shown up to the event with "malicious intent," but acknowledged that "maybe my participation isn’t necessarily fair, I mean, you know, for science, whatever."
Andres previously came under fire the biological male questioned why "women’s bench is so bad?"
"Why is women’s bench so bad? I mean, not compared to me, we all know that I’m a tranny freak so that doesn’t count. And no, we’re not talking about Mackenzie Lee, she’s got little T-rex arms and she’s like 400 pounds of chest muscle apparently."
"I mean, standard bench in powerlifting competition for women, I literally don’t know why it’s so bad," Andres continued. "My son, he weighs 45 pounds. His max bench is like 33, I’m legit seeing some women in competition who are doing something like 50 pounds, and I just don’t understand it."
"I don’t understand why so many women are skipping bench and focusing on everything else," Andres concluded. "That’s my controversial thing today. I’m gonna go do some bench now."
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