In an event that's sure to raise eyebrows (and possibly drop some jaws), a male powerlifter, who has often competed against women and not-so-subtly mocked them for their relative weakness, has reportedly set a women's national powerlifting record and an unofficial women's world record at a championship in Brandon, Manitoba.
Anne Andres, 40, a biological male who who identifies as a woman crushed the competition with a total powerlifting score of 597.5kg (roughly 1,317 pounds), according to Reduxx. That's more than 200 kg heavier than the top-ranked woman, SuJan Gil, who managed a mere 387.5kg (854 pounds).
Andres outlifted the top female competitor by over 200kg. For those keeping score, that's more than the weight of a grand piano. In case you're wondering, Andres' score would have placed him among the top-performing male powerlifters in the championship had he competed in the men’s category according to Reduxx.
"Today I did some lifting," Andres wrote on Instagram, as if he'd just gone for a brisk walk in the park. "Not just some lifting. I got to lift with friends from across Canada. Friends who welcome me and love me and want me to be there. Friends who support trying to be the best me. I couldn’t ask for more than that, could I? Keep in mind I turned 40 a week ago so suddenly being master 1 is kind of hollow," he boasted, nonchalantly.
He added: “That in mind, I got every masters record and two unofficial world masters records. I don’t care about records. I care about being there with my friends. I missed bench because the platform was very slick so I basically Larson pressed my two good lifts. I missed my third dead because I wasn’t strong enough today. Cool story, do better next time, right?"
Well, aren't we all just one big happy powerlifting family? Nevermind the women.
Of course, not everyone is thrilled with this transgender superhero's feats of strength.
Linda Blade, founder of the International Consortium on Female Sport and author of Unsporting, told Reduux, "Since we became aware of Anne Andres’s unethical participation in CPU female powerlifting in January of 2023, we have written letters, helped affected athletes obtain legal representation, and worked very hard to convince CPU to align with its own international federation to ensure fairness for Canadian women. … The CPU insists on championing this unfairness and we condemn it wholeheartedly."
Reactions on social media were brutal, with Charlie Kirk writing: “A man who thinks he's a ‘woman,’ Anne Andres, entered the women's division of the Western Canadian Powerlifting Championships over the weekend. The result was a massacre. The second place finisher, an actual female, got a combined score across three lifts of 387 kilograms. ‘Anne’ the man beat her by more than 200 kg — more than 400 pounds!
He added: “This isn't ‘equality’ or ‘fairness.’ It's a sick joke to enable mentally ill cheaters to humiliate women.”
“[Justin Trudeau]'s radical disdain for women (and reality) in effect,” wrote athlete Riley Gaines. "New national and unofficial world record for trans identifying male, Anne Andres.”
The Canadian Powerlifting Union (CPU), in what can only be described as a masterclass in doublethink, released its "Trans Inclusion Policy" in February, stating that it supports the recommendations outlined in Creating Inclusive Environments for Trans Participants in Canadian Sport.
Andres, for his part, seems unfazed by the controversy. He's just happy to be lifting with friends. The rest of us can only shake our heads and marvel at this feat of, well, something. It’s just like that South Park episode.