Bearded male weightlifter smashes women’s record

Avi Silverberg breaks the Alberta women’s bench press record

In the clip, Avi can be seen wearing a regular men’s singlet and bench-pressing nearly 167kg, beating the current Alberta women’s record by almost 45kg.

The previous record was held by transgender athlete Anne Andres, who bench-pressed 124kg. Ms Andres is seen watching Avi whilst volunteering at the event.

Ms Andres also hols the Alberta women’s record for the deadlift, at 245kg. Ms Andres has reportedly won eight out of nine competitions entered in the women’s category over the last four years according to ICONS.

When Avi broke the record, Ms Andres can be seen standing off to the edge of the platform area and strolling back on after Avi walked off.

ICONS said Avi had “mocked the discriminatory (Canadian Powerlifting Union) policy”. This policy allows competitors to register for events under their “gender identity and expression, rather than their sex or gender”.

The CPU’s 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”.

The policy also stated: “Nor should there be any requirement for hormonal therapy or surgery.”

Furthermore, the union’s competition registration policy states a competitor’s “government-issued photo identification (excluding youth lifters) must be verified during the weigh-in or equipment check”.

What is unclear is whether Avi presented a government-issued ID identifying him as a female or was required to.

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ICONS said that Avi “points out that policies allowing men access to women’s sports completely remove any integrity in women’s competitions”.

They added: “It doesn’t matter how Avi expresses himself or perceives himself. He clearly does not belong in women’s sport, and neither does any other male regardless of their motivation for wanting to participate.”

Following the incident, Ms Andres reportedly posted a video on Instagram. In the post, she said: “Yes, Somebody did show up at the meet today with malicious intent and you know what, it was nothing, it was just entirely ignored.

“People lifted, I volunteered, everyone was happy that I was there, and it really struck me that maybe my participation isn’t necessarily fair, I mean there’s science whatever, but people welcome me because I’m actually nice to people.

“I show up and I try to make everyone happy, and I think that matters a hell of a lot more than people give it credit for. People want me there because I’m actually nice to people. Just a little thought, I’m all good.”

Alongside the video, Ms Andres wrote: “Quick update since people are asking; Yes, said person did show up and compete as a female. I don’t know the details but what matters is – the details don’t matter.

“When I walked the back room, people wanted me there. When I was platform lead for volunteering, people wanted me there. When I left, people genuinely seem to want to see me again.

“For all the talk about fairness in sport, what my fellow lifters in the APU, BCPA, and CPU seem to value is…. Being nice to each other. For all those concerned about today? Don’t be.

“Whatever comes of it, we made another statement. We care about each other. We want everyone to be happy. Maybe that’s what will win in the end.”

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