2014 Paralympics: Meet Team Utah

Published: Friday, March 7 2014 3:56 p.m. MST

Danelle and Rob Umstead Next List » 5 of 5 « Prev
Tom Smart, Deseret News
Danelle Umstead was introduced to adaptive skiing by her father, Pater D’Aquanni, in 2000. The 40-year-old mother of one son has an eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa and early onset macular degeneration.

It was when she was skiing in Taos, N.M., that she met her husband, Rob. The couple moved to Park City after he got a job in Utah, and she found support for her athletic endeavors with the National Ability Center. She struggled to find a consistent and capable guide for her racing ambitions, so in 2008, Rob became her full-time guide. That means he skis in front of her and speaks to her through a headset letting her know when and where to turn and where there are difficult sections.

Just after competing in the 2010 Paralympics, where she won two bronze medals, Danelle was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Danelle is a medal contender, especially after earning the overall World Cup title in speed events. She took second in both the slalom and super combined. The couple has one son, Brocton, 6, and they hope their pursuit of Paralympic podiums inspires their son to believe in himself and his own dreams.

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments