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UMSTEAD Danelle
Sport Para alpine skiing
NPC United States   
GenderWomen
Age46
Place of BirthDes Plaines, IL, USA
Height1.57 m
Weight 59 kg
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
B2
Guide
Rob Umstead [husband]
Further Personal Information
Marital status
Married
Family
Husband Rob, son Brocton
Other names
Danelle D'Aquanni
Residence
Park City, UT, USA
Occupation
Athlete, Motivational Speaker
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She first tried adaptive skiing in 2001 in New Mexico, United States of America.
Why this sport?
Her father introduced her to the sport and was her guide. She found that the more she skied, the more she craved speed and steeper terrain. "I felt a sense of freedom and joy I had not experienced since losing sight. I love to work hard, I love feeling in control, and out of control at the same time. It gives me the adrenaline I never knew I craved. The mountains, the sun, and my skis are my happy place."
Senior International Debut
Year
2010
Competing for
United States
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Vancouver, BC, CAN
General Interest
Nicknames
D (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Hobbies
Hiking, tandem cycling, camping, paddleboarding, shopping, working on her house, spending time with family and friends. (teamusa.org, 07 Mar 2018; 30 Jan 2017)
Hero / Idol
Her mother, her husband and her son. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Injuries
In 2016 she broke the radius bone in her arm after crashing at the 2016 US National Championships. She had a plate and 10 screws inserted into the injury. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
She likes to listen to singer Michael Franti prior to a race. (teamusa.org, 30 Jan 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Living the impossible every day." (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
She was named Adaptive Athlete of the Year at the 2011 United States Ski and Snowboard Association [USSA] Awards. (nordicskiracer.com, 24 May 2011)

She was named the 2009/10 Athlete of the Year by the National Sports Center for the Disabled [NSCD] in Winter Park, CO, United States of America. (LinkedIn profile, 2017)

During her career she has received a Utah History-Maker Award in the United States of America. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018)
Famous relatives
Her husband Rob competed in able-bodied skiing at university level in the United States of America. (cnn.com, 16 Dec 2016; vision4gold.com, 2010)
Impairment
She began losing her sight at age 13 after she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa and early onset macular degeneration. She initially lost all usable vision in her right eye and by age 27 had lost central vision in her left eye. In 2010 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; cnn.com, 16 Dec 2016; paralympic.org, 03 Oct 2015; denverpost.com, 20 Feb 2010)
Other information
ILLNESS
In 2010 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She had been training in Colorado, United States of America. "I woke up the next morning and I couldn't feel anything on the right side, from my rib cage all the way to my foot. I had to learn how to walk again, I had to learn how to jog again, I had to learn how to do sit-ups again. This is an ongoing struggle. Learning to manage the fatigue and overcoming the bad days has taught me a lot about never giving up and never giving in." (IPC, 10 Feb 2018; cnn.com, 16 Dec 2016)

DANCING WITH THE STARS
In 2018 she became the first vision impaired person to ever compete in the US TV show 'Dancing with the Stars'. "In 2007 I stood in front of the TV, holding my son Brocton as a newborn baby, and said out loud 'I want to be the first blind person on Dancing with the Stars.' I'm so excited and I'm honoured, and I can't believe life came full circle and my dream is really coming true. You better be really careful what you wish for!" (paralympic.org, 25 Sep 2018)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games
Rank Year Event Result
3 2010 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:30.18
  2010 Slalom - Visually Impaired  DNF
8 2010 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 3:41.64
4 2010 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:40.62
3 2010 Super Combined - Visually Impaired 2:48.75
5 2014 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:36.70
4 2014 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:32.04
4 2014 Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:16.21
3 2014 Super Combined - Visually Impaired 2:42.09 
  2018 Downhill - Visually Impaired  DNF
6 2018 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:38.91
8 2018 Super Combined - Visually Impaired 2:39.53
8 2018 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:37.29
  2018 Slalom - Visually Impaired  DSQ
World Championships
Rank Year Event Result
  2010/2011 Downhill - Visually Impaired  DSQ
4 2010/2011 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:38.57
4 2010/2011 Super Combined - Visually Impaired 2:42.19
6 2010/2011 Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:08.97
  2010/2011 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired  DNS
4 2012/2013 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:41.12
5 2012/2013 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:22.85
  2012/2013 Slalom - Visually Impaired  DNF
4 2012/2013 Super Combined - Visually Impaired 2:09.51
5 2012/2013 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:42.37
2 2014/2015 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:46.32
2 2014/2015 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:37.55
3 2014/2015 Super Combined - Visually Impaired 2:22.20
  2014/2015 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired DNF
4 2014/2015 Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:32.33 
4 2016/2017 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:23.86
3 2016/2017 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:16.53
  2016/2017 Super Combined - Visually Impaired  DNS
7 2016/2017 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:44.19
8 2016/2017 Slalom - Visually Impaired 1:48.24
World Cup Final
Rank Year Event Result
4 2015/2016 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 1:59.12
4 2015/2016 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:04.44
2 2015/2016 Slalom - Visually Impaired 1:32.33
4 2015/2016 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:24.53
4 2015/2016 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:25.38
3 2015/2016 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:30.52
4 2015/2016 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:34.46
6 2016/2017 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:40.95
5 2016/2017 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:44.13
4 2016/2017 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:39.92
7 2016/2017 Giant Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:42.52
6 2016/2017 Slalom - Visually Impaired 2:03.47
5 2017/2018 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:28.93
5 2017/2018 Downhill - Visually Impaired 1:29.86
4 2017/2018 Super-G - Visually Impaired 1:33.38
  2017/2018 Super-G - Visually Impaired  DNF