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155-kg US lifter thinks she just looks fa(t)bulous

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155-kg US lifter thinks she just looks fa(t)bulous

/ 05:14 AM August 01, 2012

LONDON—Holley Mangold weighs nearly 155 kilograms (340 pounds)—and she’s proud of it.

The US super heavyweight Olympic lifter thinks she looks fabulous and can’t understand why others don’t always feel good about themselves.

Mangold, sister of New York Jets star Nick Mangold, is convinced that helping people of all sizes feel better about themselves might be her future calling.

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She said she ran into a lot of “small people” whose confidence was “so low that it makes me feel really bad for them.”

“So I want to do something with that, try to make people feel more confident,” she said on Monday.

“I’ll see a small, pretty little girl and she has no confidence whatsoever and that kind of makes me think, ‘Well, that’s skinny girl problems.’ But it’s just weird, and I want to fix it.”

Starting young

Mangold, 22, initially made headlines as the first high school girl in Ohio to play for a state title in American football and for having a famous brother.

At college she competed in discus and shot put, but athletics eventually gave way to lifting.

Mangold proved to be a natural, making the US team even though many thought it would be more realistic if she focused on qualifying for the Rio Games in 2016.

Mangold isn’t favored to win a medal when she competes on Aug. 5 but she’s made such remarkably quick progress that it’s hard to count her out.

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According to training partner Drew Dillon, most Olympic champions start when they’re about 10.

Mangold took up competitive lifting less than five years ago and yet is already an Olympian.

“It wasn’t until Holley that I really understood the athlete gene,” Dillon said.

“A person has it or they don’t. You can tell an athlete to move their body a certain way and they can go a lot faster to do that than someone that doesn’t have that, and Holley really defines that,” Dillon said.

Weight doesn’t matter

Mangold has also proved to be a natural in front of the camera, thanks to her outgoing personality, quick wit and the confidence with which she carries herself.

She said she got that mostly from sports. She’s been good at them since she was little—and was even the speed roller skating champion of Ohio when she was 5.

That success, coupled with the lifelong friendships developed through sports, taught Mangold how to feel good about herself no matter what she weighs.

The 1.52-meter (5-foot-8) Mangold said she used to weigh as much as 177 kg (390 pounds) before dropping 45 kg (100 pounds) of it in about four months. She didn’t like it there, though, so she bulked up to her current weight.

Be what you are

Mangold acknowledges she isn’t concerned about what she weighs because it’s all about being powerful enough for lifting, anyway.

“After I retire, I’ll definitely try to get healthier just because I’d like to live longer,” she said.

“And it’s not a body-image thing. I’ll always be huge. I’ll never be a tiny little stick figure. But at least I could be healthy. You can be a larger woman and still be healthy.” AP

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TAGS: Holley Mangold, London 2012 Olympics, Sports, US, Weightlifting
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