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Gabriele Burgholzer is the Strongest Woman To Serve


Think about being on the Arnold Sports activities Competition and standing among the many finest on the planet in your sport getting ready for competitors. Gabriele Burgholzer is aware of that feeling effectively. On the 2022 Arnold Professional Strongwoman contest, Burgholzer stood as one of many 10 strongest women on the planet to compete in Columbus, OH.

Burgholzer positioned eighth, however the connection for Burgholzer goes far deeper than simply being a contest participant. The native of Austria feels a connection to its host, fellow Austria native Arnold Schwarzenegger — she’s even often called the “Austrian Oaktress.”

“I nearly need to say I adopted in his footsteps a bit of bit as a result of he additionally left Austria to go abroad and to make a reputation of himself,” stated Burgholzer.

Burgholzer spent her total childhood in Austria. In her native nation, the boys are required to hitch the army earlier than transferring on with the remainder of their lives.

“In Austria, it’s necessary for all males to serve within the army for a few months to get the expertise,” she stated. “So, my two brothers, my father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and so forth, all served in Austria.”

Courtesy of Gabriele Burgholzer


After graduating highschool, Burgholzer got here to America in 2007 to be an alternate scholar. As a result of she liked being in the US a lot, she opted to remain right here completely. Nonetheless, she needed to do greater than merely reside right here. She needed to indicate her appreciation for the nation she now calls house. That’s why she enrolled in the US Military.

“I’ve been granted a whole lot of alternatives right here that I believe I might haven’t been granted in Austria. I simply needed to provide again to the group. I needed to thank the U.S. in a way for letting me be and keep right here, and for all of the alternatives I’ve been given.”

Burgholzer has been serving in the US Military for 9 years, and her present rank is as a Workers Sergeant. Her travels have taken her from Fort Jackson, SC, the place she carried out in Fundamental Coaching to Texas, North Carolina, and even Hawaii. She is at the moment stationed in Fort Knox, KY.

Among the many honors she has acquired embody the Navy Excellent Volunteer Service Medal, three Military commendation medals, and extra. In February of 2019, she tried out for the US Military Warrior Health workforce. Since August of that yr, she has been the one strongwoman competitor on the workforce. Burgholzer wasn’t concerned with health as a child, however she has become passionate about strength and power.

“I did attempt my hand at bodybuilding, however I discovered that it wasn’t fairly my forte. I most popular lifting heavy as a substitute of wanting good onstage.”

Gabriele Burgholzer deadlifting truck tires attached to a barbell
Courtesy of Gabriele Burgholzer


The game of strongwoman turned out to be the proper alternative for Burgholzer. She entered her first contest, an area competitors, in 2019. By 2020, she was crowned America’s Strongest Woman.

“It was frowned upon to be a strong woman and have large muscle tissues. So, (the cheers) acquired me going and stored me moving into that route, and I haven’t stopped since.”

Gabriele Burgholzer went on to put second on the 2021 America’s Strongest Girl contest the next yr. Her first worldwide contest got here when she competed on the Arnold in March of 2022. Workers Sargeant Burgholzer defined the sensation of representing her new house nation in a world contest below the brilliant lights of Columbus.

“It felt superb. It was an unbelievable honor,” she shared. “When you had been to inform me I might compete with the very best athletes on the planet in my sport and signify each Austria and the U.S. on that stage, I’d thought you had been loopy. It’s a reminiscence that I’ll cherish eternally.”

Burgholzer could not have received that contest, however there are specific to be extra worldwide contests to come back, and she or he will probably be prepared. Apart from her dedication to coaching, her service and dealing within the Military has served as a bonus to mentally put together as effectively.

“I believe as troopers or any servicemembers, we’re taught from day one to have self-discipline. I believe that for any sport, that is without doubt one of the bases you must have. You must be disciplined all through your coaching, your weight-reduction plan, your sleep, every little thing to be in top shape,” she defined. “I really thank the Military for serving to educate me that self-discipline.”

Gabriele Burgholzer winning Americas Strongest Woman competition
Courtesy of Gabriele Burgholzer


Gabriele Burgholzer made it clear that she was referring to self-discipline, and never motivation, as a result of as all athletes that compete know, the motivation might not be there daily.

“Identical to within the Military, there are some issues that you must push your self to do, there are days you must try this within the gymnasium as effectively. There are at all times good days and unhealthy days.”

After the Arnold contest, Burgholzer needed to bear a number of surgical procedures which have stored her from returning to the energy stage in the meanwhile, however she will probably be again, and she or he already has objectives in thoughts. A kind of objectives is definitely in one other sport – powerlifting.

“I need to set the world report within the bench press. I not too long ago hit 325 kilos, and I’ve no method proper now. So, I’m engaged on that, and hopefully I can break the report in my weight class, which I believe is 380.”

Gabriele Burgholzer credit a whole lot of her success in energy and life to the army, and she or he feels everybody ought to perceive what it’s wish to serve this nation.

“I really assume everybody ought to serve within the army for a few years. It has actually helped me be taught extra about myself, enhance self-discipline, and it has given me a chance to have a look at a much bigger image of what service members do for this nation,” she defined, “It has additionally given me appreciation for the liberty that all of us get to have. So, anybody which may be contemplating becoming a member of, please do. Clearly, do your analysis to seek out which department is finest for you.”

Apart from being among the best in her sport, she desires to be among the best for her sport. Burgholzer desires to encourage extra girls to become involved in energy sports activities on the whole to allow them to develop into their strongest selves.

“To all girls on the market, not simply within the service, however all girls, come be part of me in a energy sport. Don’t let society let you know what you need to appear to be or what you’re purported to carry or not carry. Come be part of me.”

Observe Gabriele on Instagram: @gabi_theaustrianoaktress

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