U.S. National Champion Cyclist Mandy Marquardt Touts the Lehigh Valley
By Colin McEvoy on August 18, 2022
As a newly-released podcast interview shows, Mandy Marquardt truly embodies everything that is Made Possible in Lehigh Valley.
The 25-time U.S. National Champion track spring bicyclist and holder of three U.S. national records was recently featured on the Lehigh Valley with Love podcast, which each week highlights the best in regional stories, personalities, and conversations.
The episode was sponsored by the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing initiative, which partners with the Lehigh Valley with Love media company to help tell the stories about the incredible people, places, and organizations that can be found in the region.
The full 25-minute podcast episode can be heard here. The interview was conducted by George Wacker, co-founder of Lehigh Valley with Love, and intern Abby Stoudt.
It was released on July 26, just one day before Marquardt competed in multiple events at the USA Cycling Junior and Elite Track National Championships at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Upper Macungie Township.
Marquardt added three new national titles to her already impressive résumé during those events, achieving individual wins in the elite women’s 500m time trial and sprint, as well as the elite women’s team sprint with juniors Annika Flanigan and Divya Verma. She also set a new track record with her win in the 500m time trial (34.823 mph), according to Cycling News.
Popularly known as “T-Town,” the Valley Preferred Cycling Center is one of the few active velodromes in the country, Marquardt said in the Lehigh Valley with Love podcast. Others are located in such places as Florida, South Carolina, Washington, and Los Angeles, Calif.
“It’s very special to have a velodrome here in the Lehigh Valley,” she said. “This brings in riders from around the world. We’ve just had Olympic champions, world champions, racing here. (It’s just a great feeling to have somewhere safe to ride and get in really good training, but also it just brings in a sense of community for young kids learning how to ride and be competitive.”
Marquardt, who was previously profiled by Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, discussed various topics during her podcast interview, including how she came to live in the region. After living in Germany with her father, she returned to the United States to finish high school, and enrolled in Penn State Lehigh Valley.
“ I wanted to be in an environment that really had a good cycling community, so I was deciding between a place like Boulder, Colorado or here in the Lehigh Valley, and I just found here to be a great fit,” she said . “… The Lehigh Valley is my home.”
Marquardt also discussed her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at age 16, and how it led her to join Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team.
“We’re all living with type 1 diabetes and our mission is to inspire, educate, and empower everyone affected by diabetes,” said Marquardt, who is also part of the USA Cycling National Team.
Being a professional track sprint cyclist is a full-time job, training 30 to 35 hours a week. Though she is often traveling for competition, Marquardt says Lehigh Valley has the resources, amenities, and community assets to help her server cycling career and many accomplishments.
Marquardt became a Campus Cycling Club coach at Penn State Lehigh Valley after graduating from there with a degree in Business Management and Marketing. She is also an ambassador for St. Luke’s University Health Network, from which she also receives physical therapy.
Marquardt discussed some of her favorite activities, spots, and restaurants in the Lehigh Valley during her podcast interview. She particularly loves visiting the region’s bridge parks, taking her dogs to the parks, and eating at places like Curious Goods at the Bake Oven Inn, The Shelby, Tapas on Main, and Three Oak Steakhouse.
This Lehigh Valley with Love podcast is a perfect match with the mission of Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, a multi-organizational campaign that highlights the region’s diverse and unique assets that make it a desirable community to visit, work, learn, and live.
The podcast has had more than 4 million downloads since 2019 and has a monthly reach of more than 500,000 listeners. It can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, RSS, PocketCasts, Stitcher, and elsewhere.
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