Bearded Powerlifter Enters Women's Event, Breaks Record Held by Trans Athlete

YouTube / Greg Doucette

There was a powerlifting tournament in Alberta, Canada, on Saturday where history was made. Avi Silverberg, the head coach for Team Canada Powerlifting for more than 10 years, entered Saturday’s Heroes Classic tournament after identifying as a female.


Silverberg then casually stepped up and bench pressed 370 pounds, beating the old record by more than 100 pounds — a record held by trans athlete Anne Andres.

Andres volunteered at the event and was seen watching Silverberg when he made his historic lift. Andres won eight of nine competitions entered in the women’s category over the last four years, according to the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS), which supplied the video of the event.

The only requirement to compete in the tournament was that the athlete declare their gender. Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) policy allows competitors to register for events under their “gender identity and expression, rather than their sex or gender,” vowing “no consequences” for doing so.

Well, welcome to the world of consequences.

New York Post:

CPU’s trans policy states that an individual “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.”

It also states: “Nor should there be any requirement for hormonal therapy or surgery.”

Meanwhile, the union’s competition registration policy 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 if Silverberg presented a government-issued ID identifying him as a female or was required to.

Either way, according to ICONS, “what Avi so obviously points out is that policies allowing men access to women’s sports completely remove any integrity in women’s competitions.”


Is Silverberg competing as a female any less ridiculous than Andres competing as a female? Andres had some revealing words for Silverberg — and the notion that transgendered males have an unfair advantage.

Silverberg, who is also an online coach and powerlifting columnist, has not directly addressed the competition.

However, Andres posted a series of lengthy video responses calling him “a coward and a bigot” with “malicious intent.”

Still, in one clip she openly admitted that “maybe my participation isn’t necessarily fair — you know, there’s science, whatever.”

In another follow-up, she said it was not her problem, however, because she “transitioned almost 20 years ago.”

“I got surgery — I can prove without any doubt whatsoever that I have gone through every step, which means whatever governing body decides to make decisions, I will pass that test.”

Bodybuilding influencer Greg Doucette notes how idiotic the entire debate is.

“I think this proves a point. If a guy can just show up and then set the … record, doesn’t that prove that it’s not fair? So how long before the powers-that-be suddenly wake up, smell the coffee, and understand that if you’re born a female you’re not gonna be as powerful, as strong … as if you were born a male.”

Doucette suggests another, separate category for trans people. In fact, several international sports governing bodies are looking into that idea, and we may see that idea put into practice soon.




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