Avi Silverberg - Image Credit @icons_women Twitter
Just a few weeks back the news of JayCee Cooper’s Transgender Discrimination Lawsuit win against the USAPL broke the internet. Many found the court’s ruling adequate, but a large portion of the population also had a completely different opinion. One of those who considered it to be the wrong choice was definitely Avi Silverberg, team Canada’s powerlifting coach. Avi surprised the world by entering a powerlifting competition as a woman, despite very evidently being a biological male. Additionally, Avi also managed to break the Women’s Bench Press Record with a lift of 167.5 kilograms (369.3 pounds).
Avi Silverberg completed this feat at the 2023 Heroes Classic on February 25th, in Lethbridge, Alberta. This competition was sanctioned by CPU (Canadian Powerlifting Union), which has a pretty straightforward policy regarding self-identification. It states that anyone who refers to themselves as a woman can compete in the women’s division. So, no hormone therapies or any other kinds of transition methods are needed according to CPU’s rulebook.
“Based on this background and available evidence, the Expert Working Group felt that trans athletes should be able to participate in the gender with which they identify, regardless of whether or not they have undergone hormone therapy.”
The Transgender Policy of the Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU) explicitly permits transgender athletes to compete alongside their cisgender peers of the same gender identity. In simpler terms, the policy extends a warm welcome to transgender women to participate in friendly athletic competitions with other women, and likewise, it affords transgender men the chance to showcase their athletic abilities among fellow men.
The CPU has adopted a policy permitting transgender athletes to compete alongside their peers. CPU’s governing body, the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), sets the criteria for the competition in March 2022. IPF’s criteria are less thorough than CPU’s.
IPF regulations allow transgender athletes to compete with non-transgender athletes. However, IPF demands specific requirements for transgender women, including maintaining certain testosterone levels and obtaining a passport that matches their gender identity.
In addition to the fact that Avi Silverberg identified as a man for decades beforehand, he also came out on stage with a beard and in men’s clothing. This made it even more obvious that Avi is protesting against the rules which allow anyone to compete in the women’s division.
Watch Avi Silverberg’s lift here:
A male powerlifting coach self-identified as a woman and broke a women's benchpress record in protest of gender self-identification in sport.
Avi Silverberg performed the defiant act while the current record holder, a transgender male, watched.
Making the moment even sweeter for Avi Silverberg, the previous bench press record holder was the transgender athlete, Anne Andres. Interestingly, in the nine competitions in which Anne entered as a woman, eight of them resulted in a first-place finish. However, Anne was also present at the recent CPU competition, meaning that the previous record holder had to watch Silverberg break it.
The previous record stood at 125 kilograms (275.6 pounds), as Anne Andres set it at the 2023 CPU Nationals less than two months ago. Avi Silverberg has now-annihilated it, but if other male athletes do as he did, it might get even further improved.
Anne Andres has already been in the spotlight regarding, having made some bench press remarks for women in powerlifting.
“I mean, standard bench in powerlifting competitions for women. I literally don’t understand why it is so bad,” stated Andres.
Avi Silverberg, who decided to stand up for the women, has been the coach of Team Canada’s powerlifting for multiple years now. In addition, he has taken part in 27 sanctioned events as a competitor and came out victorious in 15 of them.
Data Source: Open Powerlifting. Last Updated: April 12, 2023
Avi Silverberg’s new bench press record is definitely one of the most bizarre cases in modern powerlifting, but he has broken no rules. He has not yet put out any comments about his experience, but it is clear that it is a protest against transgender policies. It was quite successful as well, since everyone is talking about him.
Vedad is a lifelong fitness enthusiast, who is especially passionate about all things Strength related. Vedad loves to write about strength sports just as much as he likes to train. Worked hard to gain his knowledge, but is still in a constant chase for improvement.
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GO GO GO Avi Silverberg!!!! A real man standing up for standing for women!!!!! A
When will this madness end?! Is there no one who is man enough to stand up for girls in sports?
way to go Avi, thank you for making a mockery of what is worthy of mockery!!