Female powerlifter speaks out about competing against trans opponent

Maria Barwig is a single mother who survived domestic abuse to become last year’s heavyweight professional in British Columbia. She also recently became the heavyweight pro of British Columbia.

Although Barwig says she feels empowered when she competes in the sport, she claims she was powerless when she had to compete against Audrey Yun. Yun is a trans female.

Barwig said what she thought to herself while preparing for her event: “It’s just not fair. Like, what’s the point of training if there’s an unfair advantage?”

Also, Yun went on to win three Strongman titles the previous year and was banned for six months for reportedly bullying and making fun of the ladies “she” was going up against.

Canadian powerlifter April Hutchinson has been a leading voice in the battle for fairness in women’s sports. Barwig has made aneffort to speak out behind the scenes and on social media about the lack of inclusivity women experience when their chances of reaching the podium are hampered by transgender males who identify as males.

In response to the criticism, Strongman Corp. decided to implement an open gender category as a more equitable competitive alternative for those who do not identify with their biological sex.

Sadly, the conflict didn’t end there. Although Yun was prohibited from participating in Strongman competitions, the Canadian Powerlifting Union (which had previously banned Hutchinson for two years for criticizing men in women’s sports) invited Yun to participate against their female competitors. Yun is now officially the first-place winner in the women’s B.C. Powerlifting Winter Opens.

Hutchinson told Rebel News: “It’s completely hypocritical. I got banned for two years for stating a biological fact basically. Audrey, who was suspended from Strongman Corporation for harassing not just myself but male and female athletes in Strongman Corporation, took the six-month suspension but decided to roll on over here to the Canadian Powerlifting Union, compete, and take a gold medal away from female competitors.”

Barwig and Hutchinson are standing out for fairness in women’s sports even if they run the danger of being wrongly accused of being transphobic or missing out on sponsorship deals.