Holley Mangold‘s road to the Rio Olympics will go through “The Biggest Loser.”
Mangold, who placed 10th in the super heavyweight division at the London Games, said the NBC weight-loss show reached out to her. Now, she’s a contestant on the series’ 15th season beginning Oct. 8.
“They’ve talked about how I was inspiration for big girls,” said Mangold, 23, in a video on the show’s website (full video below). “I felt like I never got a chance to be the in-shape, smaller girl. I never had that chance. This is kind of like my second chance to do that. I wanted to show all of them you can do it.”
Her starting weight is 351 pounds. She weighed in at 346 pounds at the 2012 Olympics, 60 pounds heavier than anybody else in her weight class, which is set at 165 pounds and over.
“I feel like that was my limiting factor the last run for the Olympics is I was too big for the super heavyweight,” said Mangold, the sister of New York Jets all-pro center Nick Mangold who played high school football. “I needed to be smaller so I could train harder.”
Mangold said being on the show will help her get back to the Olympics in Rio, that she can be better at a smaller weight.
“I think I finally decided now I don’t have to wait to retire before I get in shape,” she said. “I always had this thought that if I lost weight, I wouldn’t be as good of a weightlifter anymore. I plan on going to Rio. I was very nervous about it. I think, after ‘Biggest Loser’ reached out to me, I thought this is a good idea. I can do this and be the great weightlifter I want to be.”
Mangold said she pulled out of the Pan American Championships in June and the World University Games in July to come on the show.