Athlete Journal: Holley Mangold, Entry 15 – My Olympic Games Experience

Holley talks in detail about her Olympic experience and what it was like to attempt her lifts with painful, torn ligaments in her wrist. Just like Holley, though, she already is aiming for 2016.


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 15:

London 2012 was awesome. The city was so caught up in the Olympic spirit that it just made it even more fun. I loved seeing the athletes from all around the world in the Olympic Village. Most of them were in niche sports, like mine, which made them really different. Each athlete seemed to have different builds – from the super tall, thin type to the short, muscular gymnasts, and everything in between. There were throwers and water polo players that didn’t fit the stereotypical norm for an Olympic athlete, but amazing all in their own right. It just really showed my message that athletes come in all shapes and sizes!

The Olympic experience has been more than amazing – it was surreal. I can’t believe that it’s over already. Leading up to the games I trained as hard as I could, followed a strict diet, and tried to mentally prepare for the biggest meet of my life in front of the most spectators ever! Its crazy how much of this sport is mental and I had to make sure that both the mental and physical were ready.

Unfortunately, I hurt my wrist really badly training just a few days before leaving for London. It was awful physically, of course, but it also mentally challenged me. From the moment I arrived in the Olympic Village right up until I competed, I worked with the physical therapy team trying to do everything I could to make my wrist normal again. The days leading up to the meet became more and more stressful worrying about exactly how it would hold up. We ended up taping it and shooting it with cortisone. The pain was ridiculous, but I’m very happy that I was able to total (complete both lifts). That was most important to me – to total despite torn ligaments in my wrist.

Of course, I didn’t do my best numbers, but at the point I was at, I’m still satisfied that my wrist held on. It would have been wonderful to put up bigger numbers and push myself to PRs, but it just wasn’t in the cards. It makes me even more excited to train hard the next four years and make the 2016 Olympics be my Olympics to medal. I know that with the amount I’ve progressed these past four years, the next four years can be even more amazing.

I just want to also say this time in my life wouldn’t be nearly as cool without all of the support I have gotten from family, friends, and random people who share their stories with me. It’s a great feeling to put so much into a sport I love and get such positive feedback. Hopefully this experience helps others to work towards their individual goals, whether it be in sports or in life in general, knowing that failure is probably going to happen at times, but success won’t happen either without trying!

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