2017 IWF World Championships

The last few days have blended together and currently I am in a fog of editing photos and trying still trying to digest everything I experienced at Worlds and the American Open Finals.  

Currently I am on a plane back to  N.Y. and there is so much to share about the trip that I spent about two days staring at a blank screen because I had no clue where to start.   I will jump right to it and promise to keep these stories short and sweet!  

Weightlifting and Lifting Clean

Say hi to Markus Kupfer!

Say hi to Markus Kupfer!

I arrived in Anaheim California 1 day before Worlds. As soon as I landed I was asked to go straight to the training hall to start taking photos.  Upon entering the massive bright room of neatly lined up Eleiko platforms, the middle of the training hall was saturated with red jackets.   You could tell right away who they were.  It was the German Weightlifting Team.  

At first glance it was easy to point out the weightlifters and coaches.  Then I saw Markus.  I wasn't sure who he was, so naturally I took his photo, lol

Right before I took the shot of Markus I gestured to him to smile.  He did... well sort of.  I'd like to think he was smiling and not wondering, "What is this woman doing?" 😬

A week later after this photo, I formally met Markus at the closing ceremony for Worlds.  In between the friend chicken buffet line and soda fountain, we got to talking.  I learned that he is a doctor for the German Weightlifting Team!  Wow... It's not every day you get to meet a doctor from a weightlifting team!  Since I didn't scare away the man, I decided to take the opportunity to ask questions and learn!

There are two things I would like to highlight from our conversation.  As you may know, a few of the German weightlifters had some setbacks along the way while competing at Worlds.  It was evident the weightlifters were disappointed and Markus was genuinely concerned. You could tell the weightlifters' health and well being was the number one priority for him on this trip.  It made me realize that there are many moving parts when it comes to a team like the Germans.    It was interesting to hear his thoughts about what has to get done to prepare for something such as Worlds.  

With a steady flow of great conversation going, naturally we got to talking about doping in the sport of weightlifting and how the German Weightlifting Team strictly abides by the rules of keeping the sport clean. It's one of the reasons why the team is a favorite among many.  

Markus, I am looking forward to continuing the great conversation we were having (including your colleague as well). To be continued...

Gregor Winter

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I had to add a section on here for Gregor Winter of All Things Gym.  Guys, I have never seen a man work so fast.  Homeboy was in and out of different parts of the venue that at one point it seemed as if there were 3 of him. I was assigned mostly to the warm up area and training hall and every time I turned around he was present with multiple cameras and cell phone ready to go.  I really enjoyed watching him work a room.   

Gregor pictured with Eric.  You'll learn a bit more about Eric at the end of this post.  

Gregor pictured with Eric.  You'll learn a bit more about Eric at the end of this post.  

Some Favorite Moments

I could easily share 50 photos and 50 stories on here.  There really is so much to share, but I promised to keep it short.  Below are just a few of my favorite moments.  

Guys, Ian.. what an incredibly strong kid.  So much ahead of him, I know it.  Always a favorite to watch on the platform.   By the way, I'd like to share we were both on the buffet line at the closing ceremony dinner.  He took the last piece of BBQ ribs before I could get to it.  So fast... keep your eye on this one.  Growing boy has to eat!  

Guys, Ian.. what an incredibly strong kid.  So much ahead of him, I know it.  Always a favorite to watch on the platform.  

By the way, I'd like to share we were both on the buffet line at the closing ceremony dinner.  He took the last piece of BBQ ribs before I could get to it.  So fast... keep your eye on this one.  Growing boy has to eat!  

When Mohamed poses for you... "Holy shit Viv, take the shot and don't drop the camera!"  Yeah, that's exactly what went through my head.  

When Mohamed poses for you... "Holy shit Viv, take the shot and don't drop the camera!"  Yeah, that's exactly what went through my head.  

Jessica  and Amy, These two here... wow... so much heart.  I really liked watching how they interacted and the trust they have in one another is something I hope all weightlifters have with their coaches.

Jessica  and Amy, These two here... wow... so much heart.  I really liked watching how they interacted and the trust they have in one another is something I hope all weightlifters have with their coaches.

The curtains surrounding the main stage and warm up area were pinned and no one was allowed to peek though the curtains.  The volunteers worked so hard to keep the spying to a minimum.  But it was impossible to catch all the people taking a sneak peek of all the action in the warm up area.  This photo of Nurdinov is my favorite of curtain head moments.  

The curtains surrounding the main stage and warm up area were pinned and no one was allowed to peek though the curtains.  The volunteers worked so hard to keep the spying to a minimum.  But it was impossible to catch all the people taking a sneak peek of all the action in the warm up area.  This photo of Nurdinov is my favorite of curtain head moments.  

Meeting some of the loaders for The 2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships.  We shared a shuttle from the airport and I found out Olivia (second in from the right)- followed Everyday Lifters.  I was like.. OH MY GOSH!! yessss... I love meeting you guys and learning about who you are. A very cool moment for me.  Thank you guys for making the trip to the hotel less sucky.  

Meeting some of the loaders for The 2017 IWF World Weightlifting Championships.  We shared a shuttle from the airport and I found out Olivia (second in from the right)- followed Everyday Lifters.  I was like.. OH MY GOSH!! yessss... I love meeting you guys and learning about who you are. A very cool moment for me.  Thank you guys for making the trip to the hotel less sucky.  

Behdad Salimi casually posing for a photo on the shuttle bus back to the hotel.  The first picture I took he was very serious.  I asked him to smile because I thought a smile looked great on him.  So he sat up and gave me the biggest smile ever. The best!!! (Yes, it was a bit surreal). Ian, back me up on this story.  You were sitting there watching the entire thing unfold.  ha!

Behdad Salimi casually posing for a photo on the shuttle bus back to the hotel.  The first picture I took he was very serious.  I asked him to smile because I thought a smile looked great on him.  So he sat up and gave me the biggest smile ever. The best!!! (Yes, it was a bit surreal). Ian, back me up on this story.  You were sitting there watching the entire thing unfold.  ha!

Really no need to explain why this is a favorite. 

Really no need to explain why this is a favorite. 

I can't remember exactly what happened here.  Notice his arms and the hand holding.  I love how his massive arms embraces the athlete.  Such a strong and intimidating looking man who displayed genuine care for his weightlifter.  

I can't remember exactly what happened here.  Notice his arms and the hand holding.  I love how his massive arms embraces the athlete.  Such a strong and intimidating looking man who displayed genuine care for his weightlifter.  

 

Max Lang and Eric  

I had received so many messages during this trip regarding Max. People wanted to know "SO?!!!! Did you meet Max Lang yet?!"  It wouldn't seem right to end this post without mentioning Max Lang and Eric. If you don't know Eric, he is the managing director of German Weightlifting.  He is the person responsible for the increase social media presence of Max Lang.  Ladies, you can thank Eric for that.   Gute Arbeit!

During the 2 weeks of Worlds, if you saw Max, Eric was by his side. Eric, who by the way is a BIG GUY!  

You don't understand, he's like really tall!  Someone pointed him out to me and wanted to know why he was sitting on a cushion while watching the competition.  I told the woman that Eric was sitting in a normal chair and that he happens to be a very tall German man.  ha!

What is Max like?...

Max is a huge fan of soccer, he is serious at first glance, but very approachable and has the cleanest sneakers I have ever seen on a man.  But there is something very personal I would like to share.  

Max went 5 for 6 in his lifts and I had a feeling he didn't go as heavy as he wanted to.  I congratulated him and reluctantly he accepted the kind words.  However,  I could see in his eyes he was disappointed.  He wanted more from his performance and wasn't up for celebrating.  

I didn't take his lack conversation insulting in any way. The next day he would apologize to his fans on his Instagram account saying- "More was not possible."  A mature, more serious man behind the friendly smile was immediately present when I spoke to him after he competed.  It showed a different side to him and it was the real Max.  A bit older behind those eyes and his commitment to his goals is that of a professional. Very cool!  

I would say Eric and Max make a great team and looking forward to more of what they have to share!  I hope to see more of the rest of the German team on social media. People are waiting! 😉

Thank you Max and Eric for welcoming me in your space and the awesome support of Everyday Lifters.  Extremely grateful and looking to seeing what 2018 will bring to you guys!  :)

Here is a sweet video of Max's take on the American Open Finals. 

 

What is Next?

People have asked... will you be in  Ashgabat, Turkmenistan for the 2018 IWF World Championships ?  I will be photographing a local meet in a few days.  So, that is where my head is at right now.  I give the amount of dedication to local meet as if it were Worlds.  :). Also, I am still sorting through photos.  

I am just glad to be home and looking forward to getting back to training.  Currently I am working on a few projects and can't wait to share!. Looking forward to more adventures with LiftingLife and visiting more weightlifters next year!  :)

A huge thank you to Eleiko and LiftingLife for an amazing opportunity to help cover the 2017 International Weightlifting Federation Weightlifting World Championships!  If you haven't done so already, please check out the new swag Eleiko has to offer. 

Till next time guys!!

-Viviana 


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