Track superstar and USA Cycling National Team member Mandy Marquardt has her sights set on the 2020 Olympic Games. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16, Marquardt represents the United States and Team Novo Nordisk around the globe as she chases her dreams of becoming an Olympian and inspiring people affected by diabetes.
Marquardt started competing at a young age, even before she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In her first year racing, the then 10-year-old Marquardt won two USA Cycling Junior National Road Championships. In 2006, she moved to Germany to live with her father to gain experience racing in Europe. In August 2007, shortly after making the Baden-Württemberg State Team, she took bronze in the 500m Time Trial at the German Junior National Track Championships.
In November 2007, Marquardt went in for V02 max testing and bloodwork when doctors discovered she had elevated blood sugar levels. She was hospitalized for two weeks, couldn’t exercise, and had many tests to ensure all her organs were functioning properly. She was scared, and the doctor told her that she would never be able to compete at a high elite level.
Marquardt was determined to get back on the bike. She was provided with the resources and insight to manage her diabetes, as well as the support from her parents and began working closely with an endocrinologist to get back on the bike and compete. In November 2008, Marquardt competed in the 500m Time Trial at the German Junior National Track Championships for the first time as a person living with diabetes. She took home bronze, which reassured Marquardt that she still could race and earn results with diabetes.
In 2014, Marquardt graduated from Penn State Lehigh Valley where she received a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing. After graduation, Marquardt dedicated her focus to her cycling career and took a coaching position at the university to help support her dreams. She has since represented the United States at multiple UCI Track Cycling World Cups.
In 2016, Marquardt was named to the U.S. Olympic ‘Long Team’ for track sprinting. The two-year Olympic Qualification process provided Marquardt with international experience, but the U.S. female track sprinters didn’t qualify for the games.
Career highlights include 15-time U.S. National Champion, two-time U.S. National Track Record Holder – 500m Time Trial and Team Sprint (2016), Pan American Track Champion (2017 Team Sprint), three-time Pan American Track medalist (2016 Team Sprint-Bronze, 2017 Keirin-Silver, 2017 500m Time Trial-Bronze, 2018 Team Sprint-Silver), 2018 USA Cycling World Championships team member and continuous Team USA World Cup team member (since 2014).
The 27-year-old Olympic hopeful lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania and spends part of the year training at the Velo Sports Center in Carson, California. When in Pennsylvania, Marquardt trains with Edge Cycling and is coached by Edge Cycling Director Andrew Harris. She also serves on the Penn State Lehigh Valley Alumni Society Board of Directors and supports campus community events whenever she is in town. Marquardt remains a Penn State Lehigh Valley cycling coach but has had to take a backseat to prioritize her quest to become an Olympian.