Athletes with Disabilities - National Ability Center

Anna Beninati

ALPINE SKIING

LW-12-2
Anna

Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Years Competing: 4
Years training with NAC: 4

Accomplishments:

1st at 2015 Canadian National Championship SL
3rd at 2016 World Cup Finals SL

Future Goals:

2017 World Championships
2018 Paralympic Winter Games

Personal Motto:

Own your choices, don’t let them own you. In all aspects of my life, I remember that everything can be boiled down to two choices – do or do not. You can face the challenge before you, or you can accept defeat

What have sports meant to you:

Skiing gave me an entirely new sense of purpose after I lost my legs. I had made a stupid mistake and suffered immediate and severe consequences. All I wanted was a clean slate, a new start and a second chance. Skiing gave me those things, in ways I never expected. Who expects to find that they’re actually better at skiing after they get their legs cut off?

Fun Fact:

I hand cycle during the summer

Chris Biggins

Alpine Skiing

LW3 Cerebral Palsy

Hometown: Clarksville, MD
Years competing: 2
Years training with NAC: 2

Accomplishments:

3rd at 2016 Loon IPCAS SL
3rd at 2016 Empire State Games GS

Future Goals:

Ski for team USA in the Paralympics

What have sports meant to you:

My life has always revolved around sports. Growing up I played all sports and eventually pursued golf. I played gold in high school and for my college, College for Methodist University. Now I am a PGA professional working in Birmingham, AL 8 months out of the year. After college gold ended I turned my signts to alpine skiing. The past two years I have spent my winters training in Park City, UT, pursuing my goal of skiing in the Paralympics

Fun Fact:

I am working with many others to make golf a Paralympic sport in 2020. If we are successful I hope to compete in both the Winter and Summer Paralympic games in the next 10 years

Alexandra Frol

ALPINE SKIING

LW-2

Hometown: Ashland, OR
Years competing: 4
Years training with NAC: 4

Accomplishments:

2010 First adaptive athlete to qualify for Oregon High School State Ski Championship Races
3rd GS & SL Huntsman Cup 2016

Goals:

make it to the Paralympics

What have sports meant to you:

Sports provide an equal opportunity for me to excel

Fun Fact:

I can curl my tongue into a clover

Andrew Hareghey

Alpine Skiing

LW4/Cerebral Palsy

Hometown:Enfield, CT
Years Competing: 5
Years with the NAC: 1

Accomplishments:

Bronze at US 13/14 Nationals
Junior Adaptive Athlete of the Year, 2012

Goals:

Make the US Paralympic team and win in Korea
Improve my skiing overall

Personal Motto:

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

What have sports meant to you:

Sport allows me to be competitive in a facet of my life that brings great challenge. It allows me to reach and achieve the best of my abilities

Chris Melton

Alpine Skiing

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Saylor OBrien

Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Heber City, UT
Years Competing: 1
Years training with NAC: 2

Accomplishments:

NASTAR Nationals Championships

Future goals:

Paralympic team

Personal Motto:

I don’t need easy, I just need possible

What have sports meant to you:

The happiest place I have ever been or will be is on the snow racing

Fun Fact:

I was born twice

Sponsors:

Twin Peaks
S&S Enterprises

Ravi Drugan

Alpine Skiing

Bio coming soon!

Colson Tolman

ALPINE SKIING

Colson - National Ability Center Athlete

Hometown: Herriman, UT
Years Competing: 1

Years training with NAC: 3

Accomplishments:

Participation in the annual Ability Snow Challenge for 3 years and attended the Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge for the first time in 2015

Personal Motto:

Never give up!

What have sports meant to you:

They give me a focus, something to make a goal for, a way to express myself and identify myself

Santiago Vega Castro

Alpine Skiing

LW_4

Hometown:Salt Lake City, UT
Years Competing: 5
Years with the NAC: 4

Accomplishments:

Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games
3rd at 2016 Huntsman Cup GS
4th at 2015 Speed Nationals Downhill & Super Combined

Future Goals:

Qualify for the 2018 Paralympics and finish in the top 20

What have sports meant to you:

Everything. My life wouldn’t be a third of what it is today if it wasn’t for sport, in terms of self confidence, courage, resilience, and discipline

Fun Fact:

I sing opera

Tyler Burdick

Alpine Skiing

Tyler

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Noah Elliot

Snowboarding

Bio coming Soon!

 

Robert Donnelly

Snowboarding

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Megan Harmon

Snowboarding

Above knee amputation, lower limb impairment

Hometown:Huntsville, AL
Years Competing: 3
Years with the NAC: 3

Accomplishments:

4th : 2010 French World Cup
3rd: 2011 Canadian World Cup
2014 US Paralympic Games

Goals:

Make the National Team and compete at the 2018 Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea

What was your motivation to get involved in competition?

It was fun!

Do you have motto you live by or use to motivate yourself?

You are in charge of your own destiny.

Why do you think recreation/sport is important for people of all abilities?

It keeps you fit mentally and physically. Many group/team sports give you a sense of belonging and friendship. For me, personally, it has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment.

What has sport meant to you personally?

Besides pride and accomplishment, it’s meant being different and not being just like everyone else.

Fun Facts

I’m a rocket scientist.

Other Interests and Hobbies

Backpacking, alternative energy, sustainable living, wilderness survival, wild edibles, rock climbing, kayaking.

Izzy Hicks

Snowboarding

Izzy

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Brenna Huckaby

SNOWBOARDING

Above knee amputatee
Brenna

Hometown:Baton Rouge, LA
Years Competing: 2
Years with the NAC: 2

Accomplishments:

3rd place IPC Nationals

Goals:

Compete in the 2018 Paralympics

What was your motivation to get involved in competition?

I’ve been competing since I was a kid. It’s in my blood.

Do you have motto you live by or use to motivate yourself?

Float like a butterfly, sting like a Huckaby.

Why do you think recreation/sport is important for people of all abilities?

It shows you that you can succeed.

What has sport meant to you personally?

It’s given me my able-bodied life back

Fun Facts

I can walk on my hands for five minutes.

Other Interests and Hobbies

I like to try gymnastics.

Fatu Matagi

SBX (Snowboard Cross), TEAM UTAH

SBX (Snowboard Cross), TEAM UTAH
Fatu

Hometown:Magna, UT
Years with the NAC: 3

Accomplishments:

4th Copper, CO World Cup 2013/14 Season

Goals:

Paralympics

Samoana Matagi

Snowboarding, Boardercross

Upper Amputee
Samoana

Hometown:West Valley City, UT
Years Competing: 2
Training with the NAC Since: 2013

Accomplishments:

Bronze Medal 2013 US Nationals

Why did you begin competing?

I got involved with competition because I feel it brings out the best in me.

Why are recreation and sport important for people of all ability

I think that everyone needs to recreate because we don’t always end up doing what we love for a living. Recreation brings that reason to live, think and be free. Everyone needs it.

What has recreation meant you you?

I know that because of my accident I wasn’t able to do my favorite recreational activities like basketball and video gaming at the same level I used to. When my brother, Fatu, introduced me to snowboarding, it gave me something to look forward to and goals to achieve. I began to think maybe it was ok that I survived my accident instead of wanting to have died in the accident.

Fun Facts?

  • I make videos on youtube under the moniker of the No-Handed Bandit.
  • I have two shih-tzus.
  • I am a Utah State University fan.
  • I graduated from College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
  • I am half Samoan.

Alex McMorris

Snowboarding

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Matt Melancon

Snowboarding

Matt

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Craig Pratka

Snowboarding

Coming Soon!

Learn more about the National Ability Center’s competition programs and teams.

Seth Pack

Snowboarding

SB-LL2
Seth

Hometown:Salt Lake City, UT
Years Competing: 1
Years with the NAC: 1

Accomplishments:

8th place at 2014 USHSA Nationals

Goals:

Compete moderately, have fun, and avoid injury

What was your motivation to get involved in competition?

I want to keep progressing in my sport.

Why do you think recreation/sport is important for people of all abilities?

It is important for everybody to stay active. I think it greatly contributes to our happiness.

What has sport meant to you personally?

Snowboarding is simply my favorite thing to do.

Fun Facts

I have met the US President. I have a Purple Heart.

Other Interests and Hobbies

Video games, music and hiking.

Nicole Roundy

Snowboarding

Lower Limb Impairment
Nicole

Hometown:Red Lodge, Cambridge UK
Years Competing: 1
Years with the NAC: 0

Accomplishments:

I came in second at my first race which was the French Nationals at the end of last season.

Goals:

To be top 10 at the end of the season in all disciplines.

What was your motivation to get involved in competition?

Someone said I should give it a go, so I did and I loved it straight away.

Do you have motto you live by or use to motivate yourself?

If you don’t laugh, you will cry

Why do you think recreation/sport is important for people of all abilities?

It gives people a goal and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

What has sport meant to you personally?

It has given me the opportunities to meet amazing people and travel the world.

Fun Facts

I also compete in wakeboarding in the summer, and coach wakeboarding.

Other Interests and Hobbies

Wakeboarding and coaching.

Christian Visker

Snowboarding

upper limb amputation
Christian

Hometown:Lehi, UT
Years Competing: 0
Years with the NAC: 0

Goals:

Train for the 2018 Paralympics

What was your motivation to get involved in competition?

Listening to Anna Beninati speak at the Gateway to Gold presentation. Also, being evaluated and told I have talent by a paralympic coach.

Do you have motto you live by or use to motivate yourself?

“There are no short and easy paths to a long and lasting happiness” —Nick Vujicic

Why do you think recreation/sport is important for people of all abilities?

It shows that people can do anything if they try hard enough.

What has sport meant to you personally?

It is a chance to push myself to be the best that I can be.

Fun Facts

I’m the youngest of four brothers. I sing in a choir that tours the U.S.A

Other Interests and Hobbies

Trumpet, singing, drama, camping.

Lauri Anderson

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Kelsey Delacensarie

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Josh Grover

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Ava Jennings

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Aaron Lansky

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Jessica Newland

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

James O'Neill

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Dave Provost

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

Sam Steppan

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

CJ Haerter

Team Flyers

Adaptive Skiing and Snowboarding

The National Ability Center’s Team Flyers provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in National Ability Center competitions and Special Olympics Utah aquatics. Team Flyers is a holistic approach to competition where team members not only learn about specific sport based skills, but they will also work on teambuilding, learn about health and nutrition, goal setting, and other social life skills.

Currently Team Flyers hosts bi-weekly practices in winter sports (ski & snowboard), cycling, and aquatics during their respective seasons. In the off season, the team meets once a month, where team members will have the opportunity for more team building and social interactions.

Learn more about Team Flyers and the National Ability Center’s other competition programs and teams.

APLINE SKI TEAM

SNOWBOARD TEAM - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TEAM UTAH

TEAM FLYERS