Avi Silverberg, a former male powerlifting coach from Canada, decided to enter a women's powerlifting event under the temporary guise of identifying as a woman. His motivation stemmed from his disagreement with transgender powerlifter Ann Andres, who was born male but competes as a female. Andres had been dominating women's weightlifting competitions in Canada and had made derogatory comments about her female competitors.
As a protest against policies allowing biological males to compete in women's sports, Silverberg exploited the gender self-identification policy of the Canadian Powerlifting Union. He participated in the Heroes Classic Powerlifting Meet in Alberta, challenging Andres directly. Despite being fully bearded and wearing a men's singlet, Silverberg set out to test Andres' record.
In an athlete activist group ICONS' video, Silverberg can be seen approaching the platform and effortlessly lifting 370 pounds, surpassing Andres' previous record of 275 pounds by almost 100 pounds. This demonstration aimed to highlight the lack of integrity in women's competitions when biological males are allowed to participate.
The Independent Council on Women's Sports expressed support for Silverberg's protest, stressing that regardless of how individuals identify or express themselves, biological males should not compete in women's sports. They called for a separate category for transgender athletes.
Many people praised Silverberg's actions, believing that the inclusion of biological males in women's sports undermines female athletes. Some suggested creating a new category exclusively for transgender athletes, acknowledging the physical differences between males and females.
Overall, the story highlights the ongoing debate surrounding transgender participation in sports and raises questions about fairness and maintaining a level playing field for female athletes.