Olympics

PYSO, ep. 77: Olympic long team member Mandy Marquardt has 18 national titles — and diabetes

Marquardt was diagnosed with diabetes at age 16 and was told she would never compete at a high level again.

Next year, 2021, should be the year of the postponed Olympic Games, and will certainly be the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. American diabetic Mandy Marquardt, who is on the long team for track, hopes to be in Tokyo racing in the stars and stripes.

Marquardt has been racing at a high level since she was 10 years old, and has 18 national titles to her name. But she was a little concerned that she might be aging out of her prime shape. Then she placed ninth overall in the World Cup standings last season, then set a national kilo record, and was named to the US Olympic long team.

“Representing my country next year at the Olympic Games would definitely be the pinnacle of my athletic career. And 2021 is the hundredth year of the discovery of insulin. In ways I’m like, are the stars aligning?”

Marquardt is now 29, and certainly not past her prime. PYSO host Bobby Julich shared his own story of missing out on the Olympics as he got older.

“I missed the Olympics in 1992. I missed the Olympics in 1996. I missed the Olympics in 2000. And then finally, at the age of 32, I made the Olympics in 2004,” said Julich, who earned a medal in the time trial. “And so just… just never say never.”

In this episode of PYSO, Marquardt tells her story of being diagnosed with diabetes at age 16 and being told that she would never compete at a high level again.

She talks about setting the U.S. kilo record, beating the time set by her friend and former national team roommate, the late Kelly Caitlin.

She talks about the long and sometimes lonely road of a track sprinter, but how she is proud of having raced clean her entire career.

And she talks about having a continuous glucose monitor is like “an SRM for my body.”

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Tune in to Put Your Socks on.