New Zealand’s Strongest Man Enters Women’s Weightlifting Competition to Protest Transgender Athletes

New Zealand’s strongest man has registered to compete in a women’s weightlifting competition after the organizers agreed to allow biological male transgender athletes to compete as females.

52-year-old Dale Shepherd entered the Global Powerlifting New Zealand Day of the Deadlifts as a woman to protest the competition’s self-identification rules on gender.

The event allows men to compete as females if they claim to be transgenders who “identify” as “women.”

Shepherd has been weightlifting for roughly four decades and holds nearly two dozen national records in the sport.

Shepherd revealed that he has applied to participate as a woman during the event in June.

On the application form, Sheppard circled the “female” option for gender and added a note that said:

“I identify as a woman for this contest.”

“It is important to me that both transgender athletes and biological women both have the ability to compete in sports,” Shepherd told Reduxx.

“However, regardless of hormone treatment such as giving a biological male estrogen – the hormone primarily responsible for female characteristics – it does not totally negate all the years that male has had with higher testosterone levels resulting in greater bone density, tendon, and muscle strength.

“As such biological women are at a significant disadvantage,” he continued.

“To maintain equity and preserve women’s sports, transgenders, and biological women must have their own separate classes, or eventually all women’s sports will be overtaken by biological men who now identify as a woman.”

According to the Reduxx report, the Global Powerlifting Committee of New Zealand (GPCNZ) appears to be scrambling to keep Shepherd out of the competition.

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The GPCNZ has even gone so far as to change its rule book to say that he is ineligible.

The report points out that in its 2023 Rulebook, the GPCNZ recognizes self-declared gender identity.

In a section of the guidelines titled “Transgender Athletes,” GPCNZ states that “gender is presented on a spectrum” and that the organization “respects the autonomy of the individual and how they identify.”

“An archived version of the official website dated March 30 does not display the GPCNZ rules for trans-identifying competitors, instead leaning heavily on self-identification,” the report explains.

“But, after submitting his application and declaring himself a ‘woman’ for the purposes of the competition, Shepherd was hastily sent an email and told he was not allowed to self-identify as transgender and must have been on estrogen for at least one year to compete.”

Shepherd is challenging the GPCNZ’s efforts to exclude him.

READ MORE: Australia Drops Hammer on Transgender Basketball Player: ‘Ineligible to Play’ in Women’s Sports

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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