Checking in with Mandy Marquardt

As the world continues to conform to its new normal, Mandy Marquardt is looking forward to a race schedule that resembles pre-pandemic levels. In the below interview, she talks about the role racing often plays in her diabetes management and how she’s using her off the bike time wisely.

What 2022 is looking like

I’m looking forward to having more racing this year. With track sprint cycling, there are a lot of tactics and so much training goes into such a short amount of race time. When you’re racing more consistently, month to month, it gives you the opportunity to focus on consistency and be race sharp. I had a good race schedule in 2019 and was really close to a podium at a World Cup before an Olympic year which was huge. I was on the podium at the Pan American Championships and would like to get back there. I’d like to be back at consistent racing this year.

With diabetes, it can be challenging because you’re so nervous and it plays a role in your management. More racing means you have more practice in managing that stress. A lot of preparation goes into my diabetes management in training, I train six days a week, nine sessions a week with some double days. I train 30 hours a week to race for 30 seconds. Being type 1, means we’re very routine. Getting back to travelling and being exposed to food on the road will take some time to get used to again.

What would success look like

To be back on an international podium and gain confidence in what is a building year towards an Olympic year.

Life after cycling

I’ve started studying online which means I can do one module at a time. Right now, I’m taking financial accounting and that’s really challenging but there’s a lot of teamwork which I like. It’s a good distraction mentally. It makes me feel like I’m productive with my time and growing off the bike because I know there is life beyond cycling. I know cycling is my job and it’s important but it also feels good to pursue my education as I’m not getting any younger.

On being a role model

I’m more of an introvert but I like connecting with people. With type 1 diabetes, meeting young kids, I think it is an important element because when I was diagnosed, I didn’t have many people to look up to. Being a good example for them and their parents to see, representation matters. It took me almost a year to find Team Novo Nordisk and realize wow, I can actually do this.

— Xylon Vaneyck to www.teamnovonordisk.com