Athlete Journal: Holley Mangold, Entry 10 – Weightlifting Isn’t Manly

This week Holley talks about some weightlifting friends – in particular one amazing world champion who only weighs 105lbs. Weightlifting isn’t only for big people and it doesn’t make you manly!


Welcome to the Athlete Journal of Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold. Holley is part of Team USA headed to London this summer. Follow her journey here as she trains for the 2012 Olympics! Holley’s journal will be posted every Friday.

You can catch up by reading her previous journal entries!

Holley’s Athlete Journal 10:

This week was another strong week at the Olympic Training Center. I’ll be in Colorado until the beginning of next week. It’s been awesome having my routine here and not having to worry about work and chores. Every day I get up about 7:00am to report for my morning weigh-in and warm up. Breakfast is at 8:00am, then the first training session starts at 10:00am and lasts for about 2.5 hours, after which I head to the recovery room for ice baths and occasionally a deep tissue massage (which sounds nice, but is ridiculously painful). Lunch and down time is about 1:00pm. I love hanging with the lifters and other athletes at lunch. We usually have a good time with inside jokes and what-not. My second training starts about 4:00p, which is another 2.5 hour session, followed by recovery. Dinner is about 7:30pm. After dinner and any other time we can get, we love to play charades. I’m getting really good at it – expert charades should be the next Olympic event! I’m loving my eat, sleep, train schedule and wouldn’t trade preparing for the Olympics for any other job.

In between training, I occasionally do phone interviews for various articles and one of the most frequent questions I get asked is something along the lines of, “What do I think is the biggest misconceptions about weightlifting?” I think for a lot of people, it’s surprising to find that just because you’re in weightlifting, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically a big person. Just like being a super large person doesn’t automatically make you a good person to ask when needing furniture moved. I’m going to try to highlight a new weightlifter each week leading up to me competing to hopefully bring more popularity to the sport. I don’t want women to think that it’s automatically going to make them huge and that weightlifting is a manly sport.

This week, I’d like to highlight Kelly Rexroad Williams. She is in the 48kg weight class (105 lbs), so she’s light but powerful. I asked her to write a brief bio to try bring popularity to the sport:

I started lifting my freshman year of high school in the fall of 1993. A friend that I cheered with asked me to come train with her (her sister became a world champion and attended the first Olympics for women’s weightlifting). So the next Saturday I rode with Christy Byrd up to Marietta, GA and met John Coffee of Coffee’s Gym. He liked my arm lock and the assistant coach Jane Vlack said I was a “quick study.” That Saturday visit was the beginning of the many adventures, accomplishments, tears, pain, and pride that weighlifting would bring to my life. Weightlifiting not only helped me to become who I am today, but it lead me to my husband, allowed me to see the world, and brought me the best friends a girl could ever have!

Kelly is a three-time junior national champion, 1995 senior national champion, four-time junior worlds team member, 1996 Bronze medalist at the Junior World Championships, three-time senior world team member, 2009 best female lifter, 2010 Pan American team member, and 2011 Pan American games team member. And she did it all while being a tiny ball of muscle!

Outside of the lifting world, it was interesting being in Colorado for the Fourth of July. It was the first Independence Day that I wasn’t able to see fireworks – the last thing Colorado Springs needs is another spark. It was fun and exciting to be at the OTC with so much national pride during the fourth, though! I am living the dream/pleasantly anxious for a mere three weeks more, eagerly waiting to represent the United States!

Can’t wait to make my coaches, family, friends, and county proud!

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