U.S. Lifter Holley Mangold Hopes to Inspire Others

(PCM) Olympic lifter Holley Mangold weighs nearly 340 pounds, and she couldn’t be more proud of it. In fact, she can’t understand why everyone doesn’t feel good about themselves!

Mangold told MSN that helping people gain confidence in themselves just might be her true calling – after taking on the Olympics, of course! She says she runs into a lot of “small people” whose confidence is “so low that it makes me feel really bad for them.” And she wants to fix it!

“I want to do something with that, try to make people feel more confident. 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.”

Mangold credits her athleticism and the relationships she’s formed through sports for building her confidence and making her feel good about herself no matter what she weighs. Then again, the 22-year-old has had more success at her age than most, excelling at nearly every sport she’s taken up, even at a young age. She was crowned the speed roller skating champion of Ohio at the age of 5, and was the first high school girl in Ohio to play for a state title in football. She then went on to Ursuline College on a track scholarship.

And then of course, there’s the title of U.S. Olympic lifter. Mangold took up competitive lifting less than five years ago and is already an Olympian (most Olympic champs start when they’re 10).

Mangold isn’t concerned with the number on the scale. It’s all about being powerful so she can lift those heavy weights, for now at least.

“It’s not really about health. After I retire, I’ll definitely try to get healthier just because I’d like to live longer. 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.”

Mangold competes in London on August 5. Don’t miss it!

(Credit: AP/Victoria Will)

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