Stunning video captures the moment a trainer pretends to be a woman and breaks the bench press record at a Canadian powerlifting competition.
Bearded Avi Silverberg is shown calmly approaching the bench in men’s clothing as part of a protest against gender identity politics in sports.
Silverberg then unofficially broke the women’s bench press record for the women’s 84 kilogram class – a record officially held by a transgender weightlifter.
The move, which took place Saturday at the Heroes Classic in Lethbridge, Alberta, was apparently designed to protest rules set by the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU).
Silverberg has not yet commented on his decision to enter the contest and the subsequent victory.
It allows anyone who identifies as a woman to compete in the female category, raising concerns that trans women who have gone through male puberty may have a significant physical advantage over their biological rivals.
The CPU issued a “Transient Inclusion Policy” in February that was based on guidelines from the Canadian Center for Sports Ethics.
Avi Silverberg claimed to be a woman in a powerlifting competition and broke a female bench press record in protest of gender identity politics in sports
Silverberg competed in the women’s category at the Powerlifting Classics Champions Meet in Lethbridge, Alberta this past Saturday.
He broke a record set by transgender Anne Andress, who previously mocked women for being so bad at bench pressing.
“Why are the women’s seats so bad?” she said in feb.
I don’t mean to compare to me, we all know I’m obsessed with transgender people, so it doesn’t matter.
I mean, a standard bench in women’s powerlifting competitions. I literally don’t understand why it’s so bad.
She made these statements in a video that was uploaded to the Internet.
At the time, Riley Gaines — a spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum and competitive swimmer who was beaten by transgender athlete Leah Thomas — took a beating at Andres.
She wrote on Twitter: “Ann Andress (male who identifies and competes as a woman) doesn’t understand why female weightlifters are ‘bad’ at bench pressing…
The move was apparently designed to protest rules set by the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) that allow anyone who identifies as a woman to compete in the female category.
Silverberg unofficially broke the record for the women’s 84 kg class
Well, I don’t know Ann, but maybe it’s because you have 20 times more testosterone. just an idea…’
ICONS Women, a campaign group dedicated to advocating for the rights of women players in single-sex sports, posted Silverberg’s clip to her Twitter account.
The issue of allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports has become increasingly controversial after a series of high-profile cases.
In 2022, transgender swimmer Leah Thomas has divided the athletic community after spending three years on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team.
Thomas – who is 6ft 3in – returned for her senior year as a swimmer and began breaking records in the pool.
She beat Gaines who has since become a staunch advocate for protecting women’s spaces in sports.
Gaines not only objected to Thomas’ unfair advantage, because she was born a man, but also claimed that it made her feel uncomfortable in the locker room.
“You have someone with male genitalia pulling their pants down and watching you undress. “He’s throwing you,” she said at the time.
The official women’s 84kg+ record holder is transgender weightlifter Ann Andress, who previously derided women for being ‘so bad’ at bench pressing
And in 2021, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard qualified for the Tokyo Olympics despite being twice the age of her competitors.
She had transitioned into her 30s in 2012, having competed in men’s weightlifting competitions beforehand.
She stopped playing sports for 16 years before returning as a woman in 2017.
She won two silver medals at the World Championships in the 90 kg category in California.
She was able to qualify for the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee changed its rules to allow women to compete if their testosterone levels were below a certain threshold.
In 2021, she was controversially named Sportswoman of the Year by the University of Otago.
And earlier this month, a transgender female athlete won first place in a women’s race in New York City amid ongoing discussions about the inclusion of transgender athletes in all-female competitions.
Tiffany Thomas, 46, who was born male, finished Randall’s Island Crit Cycling on top of the podium, blowing the competition out of the water to clinch first place.
Despite only taking up cycling in 2018, Tiffany quickly found success and dominated competitions in the years that followed.
She recently earned a spot on the LA Sweat cycling team, where her oldest teammate is only 32 years old.
Riley Gaines was beaten by transgender swimmer Leah Thomas last year at the NCAA Championships. Thomas competed as a male swimmer for three years before returning as a woman and began breaking records in the pool
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard (pictured) has been controversially named Athlete of the Year by New Zealand’s University of Otago
Hubbard transitioned into her 30s in 2012, having previously competed in men’s powerlifting competitions.
It comes after World Athletics announced it would ban transgender athletes who have gone through the “male age of puberty” from competing in women’s world-ranked sports.
World Athletics Team President Sebastian Coe said the organization “believes that the integrity of the female category in athletics is paramount.”
The decision meant that Thomas would not be able to compete in the World Championships or the Olympics.