Gabriele Burgholzer is the Strongest Woman To Serve

Think about being on the Arnold Sports activities Pageant and standing among the many finest on the planet in your sport getting ready for competitors. Gabriele Burgholzer is aware of that feeling nicely. 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 bit as a result of he additionally left Austria to go abroad and to make a reputation of himself,” mentioned Burgholzer.

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

“In Austria, it’s necessary for all males to serve within the navy for a few months to get the expertise,” she mentioned. “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 change scholar. As a result of she beloved being in the USA a lot, she opted to remain right here completely. Nonetheless, she wished to do greater than merely dwell right here. She wished to point out her appreciation for the nation she now calls house. That’s why she enrolled in the USA Military.

“I’ve been granted plenty of alternatives right here that I believe I’d haven’t been granted in Austria. I simply wished to offer again to the neighborhood. I wished 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 USA Military for 9 years, and her present rank is as a Employees Sergeant. Her travels have taken her from Fort Jackson, SC, the place she carried out in Primary Coaching to Texas, North Carolina, and even Hawaii. She is at the moment stationed in Fort Knox, KY.

Among the many honors she has obtained 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 group. Since August of that yr, she has been the one strongwoman competitor on the group. Burgholzer wasn’t concerned with health as a child, however she has become passionate about strength and power.

“I did strive my hand at bodybuilding, however I discovered that it wasn’t fairly my forte. I most popular lifting heavy as an alternative of trying 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, a neighborhood competitors, in 2019. By 2020, she was crowned America’s Strongest Woman.

“It was once frowned upon to be a strong woman and have large muscular tissues. So, (the cheers) received me going and saved me entering into that course, and I haven’t stopped since.”

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

“It felt wonderful. It was an unbelievable honor,” she shared. “Should you have been to inform me I’d compete with the perfect athletes on the planet in my sport and symbolize each Austria and the U.S. on that stage, I’d thought you have been loopy. It’s a reminiscence that I’ll cherish eternally.”

Burgholzer might not have received that contest, however there are particular to be extra worldwide contests to come back, and she or he might 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 nicely.

“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 likely one of the bases it’s a must to have. It’s important to be disciplined all through your coaching, your weight-reduction plan, your sleep, every thing to be in top shape,” she defined. “I actually 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 will not be there daily.

“Similar to within the Military, there are some issues that it’s a must to push your self to do, there are days it’s a must to do this within the fitness center as nicely. There are at all times good days and dangerous days.”

After the Arnold contest, Burgholzer needed to endure a number of surgical procedures which have saved her from returning to the energy stage in the intervening time, however she might be again, and she or he already has targets in thoughts. A type of targets 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 approach 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 plenty of her success in energy and life to the navy, 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 navy for a few years. It has actually helped me be taught extra about myself, enhance self-discipline, and it has given me a possibility to have a look at an even 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 search out which department is finest for you.”

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

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

Observe Gabriele on Instagram: @gabi_theaustrianoaktress

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