(Daily Mail) Bearded Avi Silverberg is shown calmly approaching the bench in men’s clothing as part of a protest against gender self-identification policies in sport.
Silverberg then unofficially breaks the female bench press record for the 84+ kilograms women’s category, which was a 270lbs press – officially set by a trans lifter.
The move, which took place Saturday at the Heroes Classic tournament in Lethbridge, Alberta, was apparently designed to protest rules outlined by the Canadian Powerlifting Union.
Silverberg has yet to comment on his decision to enter the contest and subsequent victory.
The Canadian rules allow anybody who self-identifies as a woman to compete in the female category, sparking concerns trans women who’ve gone through male puberty may have a considerable physical advantage over biological female rivals.
The CPU released its ‘trans inclusion policy’ in February which was based on guidance from the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport.
Silverberg smashed the record set by transgender powerlifter Anne Andres, who has previously mocked women for being ‘so bad’ at bench pressing.
‘Why is women’s bench so bad?’ she said in February.
‘I mean not compared to me, we all know that I’m a tranny freak, so that doesn’t count.
‘I mean, standard bench in powerlifting competitions for women. I literally don’t understand why it’s so bad.’
She made the statements in a video uploaded online.
At the time, Riley Gaines – a spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum and a competitive swimmer who was beaten by transgender athlete Lia Thomas – hit out at Andres.
She wrote on Twitter: ‘Anne Andres (male who identifies and competes as a woman) doesn’t understand why female powerlifters are so “bad” at bench press…
The move was apparently designed to protest rules outlined by the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) which allows anybody who self-identifies as a woman to compete in the female category
Silverberg unofficially broke the record for the 84+ kilograms women’s category
‘Well I don’t know Anne, but maybe it’s because you have 20 times more testosterone than them. Just a thought…’
ICONS Women, a campaign group dedicated to defending the rights of female athletes in single-sex sport, posted the clip of Silverberg on their Twitter account.
The issue of allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sport has become increasingly contentious after a series of high-profile cases.
In 2022 transgender swimmer Lia Thomas divided the sports community after spending three years on the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swimming team.
Thomas – who is 6 foot 3 inches – came back for her final year as a female swimmer and began breaking records in the pool.
She beat Gaines, who has since become an outspoken advocate for protecting female spaces in sport.
Gaines took objection not only to Thomas’s unfair advantage, having been born a man, but also claimed it made her feel uncomfortable in the locker room.
‘You have someone with male genitalia pulling his pants down, watching you as you undress. It throws you off,’ she said at the time.
🏋️Trans identifying male, Anne Andres is Alberta Canada’s women’s powerlifting record holder in bench
🚨competes next month in women’s category at the 2023 CPU National Championships
🚩Recognizes no understanding of upper body strength differences btw males & females
— ICONS Women (@icons_women) January 4, 2023