A bearded pro powerlifter entered a women’s competition in Canada — and smashed a record held by a trans lifter who was watching.
Avi Silverberg, the head coach for Team Canada Powerlifting for more than 10 years, entered Saturday’s Heroes Classic tournament in Lethbridge, Alberta, after identifying as a female.
Video shared by athlete activist group the Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) shows him walking up to the platform still fully bearded and wearing a regular men’s singlet.
He then casually bench-pressed nearly 370 pounds — beating the current Alberta women’s record by almost 100 pounds.
That record — 275 pounds — was held by trans athlete Anne Andres, who was seen watching Silverberg while volunteering at the event.
Andres also holds the Alberta women’s record for the deadlift, at 544 pounds — giving her the local record for the total of all three lifts, lifting a combined 1,245 pounds.
The trans lifter won eight of nine competitions entered in the women’s category over the last four years, ICONS said.
As Silverberg broke her record, Andres stood off to the edge of the platform area, only strolling back on after the male lifter walked off.
ICONS said Silverberg “mocked the discriminatory [Canadian Powerlifting Union] policy” that allows competitors to register for events under their “gender identity and expression, rather than their sex or gender,” vowing “no consequences” for doing so.
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.”