Hometown: Trexlertown, PA, United States
Age of diagnosis: 16
"I enjoy giving back to the sport by mentoring and coaching athletes at the collegiate level. As well as inspiring the younger generation to never give up, as well as people affected by diabetes, that you can pursue your dreams."

Currently ranked in the top 20 in the world out of 336 female track sprinters, track superstar Mandy Marquardt has her sights set on the 2020 Olympic Games. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 16, Marquardt knows that being the best right now isn’t enough to get her to the Olympics in two years. The next couple of years won’t be easy, but she is laser focused on achieving her dreams.

The two-time Collegiate National Champion has represented the United States at multiple UCI Track World Cups and was named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic ‘Long Team’ for track sprinting.

Marquardt started competing at a young age, even before she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In her first year racing, she won two Junior National Championships. In 2006, she moved to Germany to live with her father and went on to take bronze at Junior German Track Nationals in the 500m Time Trial. Since graduating from Penn State Lehigh Valley in 2014, Marquardt as been training full-time for UCI track races, UCI Track World Cups and the Olympic Games.

Career highlights include 13-time U.S. National Champion, two-time U.S. National Track Record Holder – 500m Time Trial and Team Sprint (set in 2016), Pan American Track Champion (2017 Team Sprint), three-time Pan American Track medalist (2016 Team Sprint, 2017 Silver in Keirin, Bronze in 500m Time Trial) and continuous Team USA World Cup member (since 2014).

Most recently, Marquardt was named to the United States’ UCI Track World Championships team where she will compete in the Match and Team sprints. (2018).

The 26-year-old Olympic hopeful lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania and is coached by Andrew Harris. She trains full-time with Sprinter’s Edge and works as a Penn State Lehigh Valley cycling coach.


Diabetes Q&A

Tell us about when you were diagnosed and how you found out?

I went in for metabolic-lactate threshold testing and blood work. Shortly after, they told me my blood sugars were high and I went straight to the hospital where I was diagnosed.

What was your initial reaction?

At first, I was shocked and in denial. I didn’t know much about diabetes, so I was really confused on how I was going to manage it and continue to race my bike.

How did your family/friends/fellow athletes react?

Since I was very active, they were surprised, but they were eager to learn more about type 1 diabetes; and they were very supportive.

Did you think your days as an athlete were over? Did others? What did your health care professionals say?

At the hospital, the doctor said I was likely never going to be able to compete at a high level again. But after I learned more about diabetes management, I was determined to prove that I could and take control of my lifestyle. I love cycling, and it’s a big part of my life. I could never let anything take that away from me.

What was it like riding with diabetes and how did you adjust?

It was a difficult adjustment, but I worked closely with my diabetes educator, monitoring my blood sugars and learning how different types of foods affected my blood glucose levels. It was all trial and error, but after some time, I learned what worked best for me.

Sports Q&A

Tell us about how you got started in your sport.

My dad was an active cyclist. I was into running and swimming and was interested in doing triathlons, so my parents took me to the Brian Piccolo Velodrome in Fort Lauderdale, FL. That’s where I first learned how to ride a track bike.

When did you start competing?

At the age of 10.

What do you think is your biggest achievement in your athletic career?

Winning four national championships (road and track), winning five Florida State Track Champions, and?two Collegiate National Championships.

What is your favorite memory from a race/competition?

I have a lot, but it’s always great to exceed my own expectations, learn and improve on various skills.

Being part of Team Novo Nordisk

How did you come to join Team Novo Nordisk?

A rider on the team put me in touch with the team director.

How has your life changed since you joined the team (both as an athlete and as a person)?

It’s helped me to realize that if I want to race and train at my best, I need to manage my diabetes. Racing alongside other athletes with diabetes has given me a positive outlook about what it means to be living and racing with diabetes.