Mandy Marquardt – An Elite Cyclist with Type 1 Diabetes

Nine months after she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, cyclist Mandy Marquardt took the podium as a winner in the 500-meter trials at the German Cycling Junior National Track Championship. In the years following her diagnosis, Mandy joined the ranks of the world’s most elite track sprint cyclists.

She’s an eleven-time national champion who has represented the United States at three World Cups, been named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Long Team, and won four elite titles at the 2016 U.S. Cycling Elite Track Nationals this August. In 2016, she was named to the U.S. Olympic Long Team, meaning she was on the roster from which the Olympic athletes were ultimately chosen. Now, she has her sights set on competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

When Marquardt was diagnosed at age 16, her doctor told her that she would not be able to continue her cycling career. That motivated Marquardt to prove the doctor wrong.

“I didn’t want my diagnosis to stop me from pursuing my dreams,” she said.

Competing with diabetes isn’t easy, however, as she must remain constantly vigilant of her blood sugar levels to perform.

Read about Team Novo Nordisk

“There are many different variables that can affect my blood sugar, including stress, adrenaline, race intensity, weather conditions, and altitude,” Marquardt wrote. “It’s important for me to continually check my blood sugar and adjust my diabetes regimen with all these extra variables.”

When not in training, Marquardt coaches cycling at Penn State Lehigh Valley and tours as a motivational speaker with Team Novo Nordisk. She says she stays dedicated to her training and her work by drawing on the support of the online diabetes community and other social networks.

Being given a taste of the excitement of the Olympics has provided all the spark Marquardt needs to train for Tokyo 2020.

Read: The Insulin-Carb Balance for a 100-mile Race. 

“It was an honor being named to the Olympic Long Team,” she said. “It’s motivated me to train even harder, to become the best athlete I can be.”

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Kate Doughty is a third-year student at the University of Virginia, where she is studying English with an area concentration in literary prose.

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