Athletes with Disabilities - National Ability Center

Anna Beninati

ALPINE SKIING

LW-12-2
Anna

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Accomplishments:

  • 2015: Canadian National Championship SL
  • 2016: World Cup Finals SL

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 adaptive sports mean to Anna:

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

Accomplishments:

  • 2016: Bronze at Loon IPCAS Slalom
  • 2016: Bronze at Empire State Games Giant Slalom

Future Goals: Ski on the US Paralympic team.

Fun Fact: I am working 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.

 

*Chris is also an accomplished golfer. In 2016, he placed 2nd in the World Disabled Golf Championships and in 2017 he won 1st place in the USA Disabled Golf National Championship. 

Ravi Drugan

Alpine Skiing

LW-12-2

Career Highlights: 2015 Winter X Games Bronze medal.

His story: My mom and dad got me to ski with Oregon Adaptive Sports three years after being hit by a train. I met Carl Burnett at Mt. Bachelor one day and he said I should try racing.

Future Goals: Be the best I can be.

Motivation: Ski fast, take chances and have fun.

Lucky charm? Coffee. And to think about my mom and dad.

What adaptive sport means to Ravi: It let’s me be free and equal.

Madison Baumann

Alpine Skiing

Visually Impaired

Career Highlights:

  • Silver, Giant Slalom
  • Gold, Giant Slalom, Super-G

Future Goals: My dream is to participate in the 2022 Paralympic Games. Beyond that, I would like to help people reach their dreams no matter their ability.

 

Lucky charm? I have a necklace that my grandma gave to me when I was 8 that I have not taken off in 12 years!

 

What adaptive sport means to Madison: Adaptive sports means equality to me. It helps show that people of all abilities can participate in anything they put their mind to.

Kevin Burton

Alpine Skiing

Visually Impaired
headshot

Accomplishments:

  • 2018: competed as part of the US ParalympicTeam in PyeongChang, South Korea

More of Kevin’s bio coming Soon!

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

Andrew Haraghey

Alpine Skiing

LW4/Cerebral Palsy

Hometown: Enfield, CT

Accomplishments:

  • 2018: Made the US ParalympicTeam, participated in 2018 ParalympicGames in PyeongChang, South Korea.
  • 4th and 5th place in US and Canada Nationals
  • 2nd in the United States for United States downhill skiing
  • 2012: Bronze at US 13/14 Nationals
    Junior Adaptive Athlete of the Year

Goals:

Compete in Korea in the 2018 Paralympic Games. (ACCOMPLISHED!)

Lucky charm?

Coach Erik Leirfallom’s mustache.

Personal Motto:

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

Andrew’s Story:

I first became involved in Vermont and at Ski Spec. Then, I began training with NAC when I moved to Utah for school.

What does adaptive sport means to Andrew:

Adaptive 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. Adaptive sport allows me to rise above my disability.

Saylor O'Brien

Alpine Skiing

Hometown: Heber City, UT

Accomplishments:

NASTAR Nationals Championships

Future goals:

Paralympic team

Personal Motto:

I don’t need easy, I just need possible

What adaptive sport means to Saylor:

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

Fun Fact:

I was born twice.

Orlando Perez

Alpine Skiing

headshot

Coming Soon!

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

Jason Sauer

Alpine Skiing

Coming Soon!

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

Santiago Vega Castro

Alpine Skiing

LW_4

Hometown:Salt Lake City, UT

Accomplishments:

  • 2014: Winter Paralympic Games Sochi
  • 2016: 3rd place at Huntsman Cup in Giant Slalom
  • 2015: 4th place at Speed Nationals Downhill & Super Combined

Santiago’s story:

Found the NAC through Unlimbited Ski Camp.

Future Goals:

Qualify for the 2018 Paralympics and finish in the top 20.

Personal Mantra?

“Just send it and it will be over in about a minute.”

What adaptive sports mean to Santiago:

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. I am the most-decorated skier in the history of Chile.

Tyler Walker

Alpine Skiing

LW-12-1

Hometown: Hanover, New Hampshire

Career Highlights:

  • Four-time Paralympian (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018)
  • Two-time Paralympic medalist (2 silver)

Paralympic Experience:

  • PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, silver (slalom, giant slalom), 12th (super-G)
  • Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games
  • Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, 10th (slalom), 16th (giant slalom), 22nd (super-G)
  • Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games, 6th (giant slalom), 11th (super-G), 14th (slalom), 15th (downhill)

World Championship Experience:

  • Most recent: 2017 – 7th (giant slalom), 8th (slalom), 12th (super-G)
  • Years of Participation: 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
  • Top Finish: 2004 – 6th (2004)

Tyler Burdick

Snowboarding

LL-1
Tyler

Coming Soon!

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

Jeffrey Denney

Snowboarding

LL-2
headshot

Coming Soon!

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

Noah Elliot

Snowboarding

SB-LL1

Paralympic Experience

  • One-time Paralympian (2018); Two-time Paralympic medalist (1 gold, 1 bronze)
  • PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, gold (banked slalom), bronze (snowboard-cross)

Fun Fact: Noah has only been snowboarding for 13 months.

Megan Harmon

Snowboarding

Above knee amputation, lower limb impairment

Hometown:Huntsville, AL

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

 

Megan’s Motto.

You are in charge of your own destiny.

Why is recreation/sport is important for people of all abilities to experience?

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 adaptive sport means to Megan.

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.

Isabell "Izzy" Hicks

Snowboarding

UL
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

Accomplishments: 

  • 2018: Gold in Paralympic Games, Banked Slalom
  • 2018: Gold in ParalympicGames, Snowboard-cross
  • 2018:
  • 3rd place IPC Nationals

World Championship Experience

  • Most recent: 2017 – gold (snowboard-cross, banked slalom)
  • Years of Participation: 2015, 2017
  • Medals: 4 (3 gold, 1 silver)
  • Gold: 2017 (snowboard-cross, banked slalom); 2015 (snowboard-cross)
  • Silver: 2015 (banked slalom)

Goals:

To compete in the 2018 Paralympics. (ACCOMPLISHED!)

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?

It’s given me my able-bodied life back

Fun Fact: I can walk on my hands for five minutes.

Matt Melancon

Snowboarding

LL-2
Matt

Coming Soon!

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

Josh Rottkamp

Snowboarding

LL-2
headshot

Coming Soon!

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

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.

ALPINE SKI TEAM

SNOWBOARD TEAM - IN PARTNERSHIP WITH TEAM UTAH

TEAM FLYERS