Originally posted on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 8/4/12

All week long I’ve been meaning to blog about Holley Mangold but let myself get distracted by less important things. Shame on me. I have tweeted about Mangold quite a bit so I haven’t ignored her completely. 

Mangold is somewhat of a phenom. In making it to the Olympics to represent the U.S. she has done something in 3-4 years that people typically take much longer to accomplish. Mangold started off in athletics by playing offensive lineman in high school along side her brother NY Jets OL Nick Mangold. Once that ended she took up weightlifting and quickly got serious. 

I’m curious to see how Mangold will perform tomorrow morning (8/5 10:30am EST). The biggest knock on Mangold (according to folks who know way more than me AND also Mangold herself) is that she has been over reliant on natural talent and abilities and needs to work even more on technique and conditioning. Down the road, that may result in a need for Mangold to drop some of her 350lbs. You’ll notice that even at the highest weight class (+75kg) the other competitors, such as fellow American Sarah Robles, are 100lbs  lighter than Mangold.

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Nick Mangold said for months that he would NOT go to see Holley compete  in London preferring to stay at that ******** the NY Jets call a training camp. That made sense to no one including his teammates and coach Rex Ryan who basically said Mangold is assured his spot on the team so why wouldn’t he go? If you watch Holley’s MTV True Life episode about how she’s always “the big girl” you get the sense that their relationship is rocky. Holley says she and her brother have a complicated relationship and that he thinks he’s “embarrassed” to have a sister who does such masculine things and that he’s always trying to get digs in on her. The episode shows Nick doing just what she described. 

In fairness the episode aired last summer so things could be better (or worse). Apparently, this week Mangold said he WOULD go see his sister compete in the Olympics. 

As far as the “masculine” thing is concerned, I love that Holley talks about loving stereotypically “girlie” things like painting her nails and shopping for clothes. In her twitter profile photo she looks cute as a button. She is proof that every woman is different and you can’t just put us in one box. And even if she embraced stereotypically male things there’s no reason to believe women should fashion their lives around being appealing to some dudes. 

Overall, I find Holley to be quite inspiring. I’ve seen a lot of people in comments sections and message boards saying Holley can’t be an inspiration cause she’s just encouraging people to be fat. The same tired BS that always comes up any time someone whose size isn’t socially encouraged accomplishes anything.

But the reality is there are lots of women who struggle with insecurity about their weight. Fat women are often teased relentlessly and the victim of stares and jokes–sometimes by people who just SWEAR they’re concerned and trying to help.  Sometimes those women let the comments and opinions of others prevent them from going out and living their dreams. Not saying that Holley never gets down about her body, but it’s clear she hasn’t let the assholes like Conan O’Brien take the wind out of her sails and neither should anyone else. 

 

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