Weightlifting team attracts well-known photographer


New York photographer Viviana Podhaiski aims the camera inside the Field House during her 24-hour Missouri trip to photograph the Lions.
Photo by Walker Van Wey

The raucous Lindenwood weightlifting team caught the eye of a New York photographer at a recent meet.

Viviana Podhaiski of everyday-lifters.com visited Lindenwood to do an exclusive photo shoot on Saturday. 

“I was at the American Open last December in Florida, and the Lindenwood team is probably the loudest team in the room, so I was drawn to them,” she said.

Lindenwood’s team is known for being loud supporters, but the vocalization of the team’s unity was frowned upon in the past. The general public now welcomes the vocal forms of encouragement that led Podhaiski to the Lions.

“Years ago people didn’t cheer, but because the sport is growing and becoming more popular, it’s becoming more and more accepted,” Podhaiski said. “I loved it. You could tell upon meeting them that they’re really supportive of one another. I was immediately drawn to that.”

Podhaiski’s initial interest in capturing casual exercisers has transformed into a job and a platform to spread her passion with the viewing world.

Assistant coach Austin Rodriguez said he understands the positive effects the support of his team has not only provided in the weight room, but also in the brand of the team as a whole.

“Honestly, this is pretty big,” Rodriguez said. “This is a great way for the team to gain exposure. We’ve been kind of wanting pictures, and this will show our training atmosphere and how unified the team is.”

Podhaiski’s trip from New York was only a 24-hour stay to take pictures of common college students, but she paid for the trip out of her own pocket.

“You don’t have to be a star athlete or famous person,” Podhaiski said in a blog post about her trip. “Why can’t everyday people be listened to and photographed?”

Rodriguez and the Lions look forward to the potential that may follow a visit from the heart of Everyday Lifters.

“I know that she’s got over 2,500 followers, and she goes to every competition,” Rodriguez said. “I believe we’re the only full team she’s photographed. People will get an inside look and see there’s constant excitement when we train. It’s always fun.”

Podhaiski’s article about her trip to Lindenwood can be found at everyday-lifters.com or on her Instagram @everyday_lifters.