Mandy Marquardt began cycling at 10 years old, competing in endurance road and track events. At the age of 16, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Marquardt balances racing and diabetes management and does not let diabetes stop her from pursuing Olympic aspirations.
“With an intense training regime, living and #RacingWithDiabetes is just another variable I factor in, but when I’m at the start line, I’m no different than my competitors. I have worked just as hard to be here and I want to win”
In 2013, Marquardt made the switch over to track sprinting, and is currently the top female sprinter in the United States. With years of balancing education and cycling, Marquardt graduated in 2014 from The Pennsylvania State University. Marquardt is currently the Cycling Coach for The Pennsylvania State University – Lehigh Valley campus. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and mentoring riders, as well as focusing on track cycling full-time for the United States, and Team Novo Nordisk, a global all-diabetes team of cyclists, triathletes, and runners, spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes men’s professional cycling team.
“I enjoy giving back to the sport by mentoring and coaching athletes at the collegiate level. As well as inspiring women to never give up and people affected by diabetes, that you can pursue your dreams.”
Marquardt lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania and is coached by Andrew Harris, training full-time with Sprinter’s Edge. She is an 11x U.S. National Champion, was named to the 2016 Olympic Long Team and is a 2020 Olympic hopeful.
The One X Ten Questionnaire:
1. Where are you from and where do you currently call home? I was born in Mannheim, Germany and moved to South Florida when I was 6. I currently call Allentown, Pennsylvania home.
2. How did you get started in your sport and when did you realize you wanted to pursue it professionally? I was always active growing up, swimming, running, playing tennis, and I wanted to give triathlons a shot and at a young age, the safest way for me to competitively learn how to ride was on the velodrome. Every since I was a little girl, my goal was to represent my country. The first time I put on a USA Cycling jersey was an incredible feeling and I felt that it was meant to be.
3. What is the biggest setback you’ve suffered as an athlete? I’m living and racing with type 1 diabetes. I was competitively cycling before I was diagnosed, so having to learn to manage my diabetes while racing was another variable I had to factor in. When I’m at the start line, I’m no different than my competitors – I want to win.
4. Best piece of advice from women starting out in your sport? Connect with your local bike shop – many offer women’s specific clinics and group rides that have a set controlled pace. The cycling community is very welcoming.
5. What’s the biggest misconception people have about being a female athlete? I can’t speak for all female athletes, but compared to most endurance cyclists, track sprint cyclists are built bigger, since our events are less than a couple minutes, we train with an emphasis on speed, strength and power.
Many people outside of the sport, who don’t fully understand the sport and the training, think as cyclist, I should be skinny and having muscles isn’t womanly. I have struggled with my image, but I’ve learned to accept and embrace my body that I’ve worked hard for. I’m actually a big girly girl and love dressing up and getting my nails done. It’s important to feel comfortable and confident in your skin.
6. Whom in your sport do you admire the most and why? I admire my coach, Andrew Harris, who dedicates hours of his time with our training group, while equally focusing on each individual athlete and their goals.
7. What’s in your gym/workout bag? My cycling and lifting shoes, cycling clothing, wireless headphones, training journal, diabetes medication and supplies, candy, a banana and my Klean Recovery protein shake.
8. Breakfast? Kellogg’s Special K Protein Cereal, with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit on top.
9. Favorite workout or workout tip? Now or never.
10. We define “The Wonder” as the state of reaching the truly extraordinary—the achievements that most people, including you at onepoint, could not fathom. What is your Wonder and what has it taken—or what will it take—to reach it? One of my biggest goals is to represent my country in the 2020 Olympics Games. Not only would it be the pinnacle of my athletic career, but it would also be an incredible platform to inspire, educate and empower those affected by diabetes to pursue their dreams.