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Pump You Up —

January 14, 2013

I first learned about Olympic Super-Heavyweight weightlifter Holley Mangold through erylin’s post last March. It wasn’t until late April that I began asking for an interview with her over Skype, but with the Olympics just three months away, I knew it was a longshot.

After the Olympics, I tried again, and she was gracious enough to sit down with me for an hour, forfeiting the promise of a Chipotle burrito because she was busy talking to me. If you haven’t seen Holley before, check out MTV’s True Life before you watch the interview. It shows her career prior to landing a spot on the Olympic team. In fact, the show ends (SPOILER ALERT) with Mangold losing one of the Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Don’t be sad because (DOUBLE SPOILER ALERT) she later made it onto the team and represented the United States at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She sprained a tendon in her wrist, but finished anyway, taking 10th place. You can even watch the full competition on the YouTube. With four more years of training and experience, Holley will make a formidable opponent at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro.

The interview has been split into two 27 minute conversations with a Mystery Science Theater intermission. Why is there an MST intermission? Because it’s my show and I want to.

Why don’t I edit the interview down into smaller bites? Well, I like how you get a fuller picture of the subject’s personality when you just let it roll. Plus, it’s my show and I want to.

But this time, I have excerpted two chunks from this conversation for those who just want a little Nugget of the full experience.

For example, I asked Holley about the rumors first reported on ESPN about how the Olympic Village was a den of sexual impropriety and veritable whirpool orgy of fun.

Also in this interview, I asked a question that I felt more uncomfortable with after the fact. Basically, in several photos and videos I had seen of Holley lifting weights, it seemed like her boobs get in the way.


So, I asked Holley what she thought of the question after the interview, and she said she was not offended by it. I then showed the clip to several female friends and asked for their thoughts, and the general consensus was that the question is valid because for some people the “boobs” question is something that is not often discussed by athletes, and it should. So, I decided to leave it in as is.

This first conversation covers Holley’s weightlifting and sports career, while the second one is more of a potpourri.

I hope you enjoy our awkward conversation about sports, as I am not an avid enthusiast of sport myself. But I am willing to learn what I can in the pursuit of dialogue. I hope that learning about another person’s passion is as fascinating to you as it is to me.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. vesta44 permalink
    January 14, 2013 2:11 pm

    Great interview, Shannon. Looking forward to part 2.

    • January 15, 2013 10:12 am

      Thanks vesta. The second interview is much fluffier and more fun. 🙂


  2. Theresa permalink
    January 14, 2013 9:08 pm

    Makes me want to invite both you & Holley over for a steak and a beer. 🙂

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