Compete Every Day loves the attitude Holley Mangold brings to life. It’s a passionate, “this is me, take it or leave” attitude that is confident and inspiring people all over the world to ignore limitations that others’ place on them.
Holley Mangold is also strong. Like Olympic-lifting strong. She wanted to follow her older brother Nick Mangold into the NFL (Nick is currently the starting center for the New York Jets), but since there is no NFL for women, Holley went into weightlifting.
Standing 5’8 and weighing 350 pounds, Holley can clean and jerk 320 pounds from the ground to overhead. She was one of only two U.S. women to qualify for this year’s Olympics and placed 10th this week in the superheavyweight class in London despite having a torn tendon in her right hand.
Holley and the start of the MTV documentary I’m the Big Girl, is encouraging men and women to not get defeated by body image. “I want to convey – be happy with yourself,” she shared. “I hope when people see that I’m comfortable with who I am, it will give them the self-confidence to follow their dreams, to keep going when others say they cannot do something.”
Even more amazing about Holley’s Olympic journey was that her journey to London was far from a piece of cake. She was banned from her college’s weight room after the floor vibrations from her dropped barbells shattered the windows around the school’s indoor pool. Holley then lost her spot in Colorado Springs to someone the Olympic Training Center felt had a better chance to win.
Like the most successful athletes, rejection only fuels the competitive fire. Her personality is captivating everyone and Holley’s weightlifting career is just getting started. No American woman has won a medal in weightlifting since 2000, and that was in the flyweight division.
“They say it takes five years to see if you’ll be any good in weightlifting and 10 years to see if you’ll be great. So I don’t know if I’m good yet,” Holley told Cleveland.com. And at age 22, Holley is just getting warmed up.