A large, bearded man causally demolished the women’s powerlifting record to make a point about allowing transgender competitors in women’s sports.
Avi Silverberg, a powerlifting coach for Team Canada, now holds the women’s record in the 84+ kg category after identifying as female and competing in the Heroes Classic Powerlifting Meet, the New York Post reported. Silverberg bench-pressed nearly 370 pounds, beating the women’s record by nearly 100 pounds. Anne Andres, a transgender individual who holds the previous record, was reportedly at the event to see Silverberg take the record.
The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) said that Silverberg acted in protest of the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s (CPU) Trans-Inclusion policy which allows for transgender competitors to participate in events inconsistent with their birth sex. Furthermore, the organization allows for transgender competitors to participate without having proof of hormone replacement therapy. (RELATED: Megan Rapinoe Backs Trans Athletes, Says ‘Your Kid’s High School Volleyball Team Just Isn’t That Important’)
“Hormone therapy should not be required for an individual to participate in high-performance sport,” the policy reads.
🏋️♂️ Team Canada powerlifting coach, Avi Silverberg just broke the Alberta WOMEN’s bench press record in the 84+ kg category at the “Heroes Classic.”
Former record holder, trans-identifying male, Anne Andres had a front row view as Silverberg mocked the discriminatory CPU policy… pic.twitter.com/ajhUJPB4gc
— ICONS Women (@icons_women) March 27, 2023
The CPU’s policy also says 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.”
Andres responded to Silverberg by calling him “a coward and a bigot,” in an Instagram video, the NY Post noted. However, Andres claimed that Silverberg’s performance made the lifter reconsider participating in the women’s division. “It really struck me that maybe my participation isn’t necessarily fair,” Andres reflected.
Since joining the women’s division on the CPU’s powerlifting circuit, Andres has been beating female opponents. Andres has won eight of nine competitions in the women’s division over the past four years, according to the NY Post.