Meet Mandy Marquardt, the inspirational Team Novo Nordisk athlete who’s breaking down barriers and changing diabetes on her way to the Olympics.
I was born in Germany. I moved over to the States when I was seven. My parents thought I’d be safer on the track, instead of being on the road.
I went back to Germany, though, when I was 14. And there I was diagnosed. I thought it was something that I did. Living with type 1 diabetes, ]I thought was a huge setback in the beginning. But when I found Team Novo Nordisk, ]all these athletes with type 1 diabetes competing, and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s almost like family.
I give the Pro Men a lot of credit, they go through stage racing, and tons of races throughout the year. When I go through a sprint tournament, or keirin racing at a World Cup, it definitely feels like I am racing a stage race. At Pan Am’s I raced five days straight.
I’m a 13-time national champion, I hold two national records in the team sprint and the 500m time trial with my partner Maddie Godby. I was second in keirin and third in the 500. My best result is at a World Cup, where I was 8th in the sprints.
It’s my full time job and I’m going to lose that sense of who I am, and if I want to get my nails done or if the mechanic’s saying, “can you fix that?” I’m like, “yeah, I can do that.” This is who I am and I’m proud of that, and it’s important to recognize and to be comfortable in the skin that you’re in.
When you put your helmet on and your skinsuit you’re showing the world that this who I am. That’s the thing with body type in cycling, we come in all different shapes and sizes and there’s strength. This is your sport, and you’re creating your body by doing the sport.
This male-driven sport, which is changing, because women are just as powerful. It’s important to be a role model. To have women, younger girls too, to be there for each other.
I knew what the Olympics were when I was younger. I just knew it was all these nations just competing against each other. I just want to walk into that velodrome and know that I’ve done everything I could to prepare I’ve envisioned what the feeling is and the emotions.
Team Novo Nordisk and USA Cycling that is my life.