|Danelle Umstead Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 2 in|
|Date of Birth||February 15, 1972|
Danelle Umstead is one of the most decorated Paralympians and has managed to win several medals and accolades in different categories of Alpine Skiing. What makes her success even more impressive is that she didn’t take up skiing till the age of 29. She was introduced to the sport by her father, who served as her first guide. In the next phase of her career, she was assisted by her husband Rob Umstead, who is a collegiate skier. He became her full-time training partner and has played an important role in several of her biggest triumphs.
Taos, New Mexico, United States
Park City, Utah, United States
Danelle Umstead went to the Plano High School in Plano, Texas and graduated from there in 1990.
Alpine skier, Paralympian
- Father – Peter D’Aquanni (He introduced Danelle to blind skiing in 2000)
- Siblings – Nicole D’Aquanni (Sister), Michele D’Aquanni (Sister)
5 ft 2 in or 157.5 cm
53 kg or 117 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Danelle Umstead has dated –
- Rob Umstead (2008-Present) – In 2008, she got married to Rob Umstead in a romantic and intimate wedding ceremony held on the top of a mountain. After the ceremony, they skied down together for their reception. She had first met him on the slopes in Taos, New Mexico. Later, she had trouble finding a guide, who would give her commitment to a full-time training schedule. So, in 2008, Rob decided to step in and he has served as her team partner ever since. Also, during the course of their marriage, she has given birth to their son, Brocton.
Race / Ethnicity
Deep Blue Eyes
Danelle Umstead has inked a personal sponsorship deal with the automobile giant, Toyota.
She has also signed sponsorship deals with the following –
- Natural Balance
Best Known For
Being one of the most successful Paralympian in the US. She has served as a member of the US Paralympics team and has competed in several skiing events including women’s slalom, giant slalom, downhill, Super-G and combined.
First TV Show
In January 2014, Danelle Umstead made her first TV show appearance on news series, Access Hollywood.
Danelle Umstead relies on her regular and intense skiing training to keep her body in the right shape. She also has an active lifestyle and loves to indulge in a host of outdoor activities such as hiking and paddle boarding, which provides further physical exercise.
Danelle Umstead Favorite Things
- Hobbies – Hiking, paddle boarding, camping, cooking, shopping, composting
- Singer – Michael Franti
Source – Team USA
Danelle Umstead Facts
- Her blindness is caused by the degenerative disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is caused by the break down of retinal cells.
- At the age of 13, she lost useable vision in the right eye. By the time she reached the age of 27, she had lost central vision in the left eye.
- It was her childhood dream to join the US Army. However, once she started losing her vision, she realized that it was impossible to fulfill her dream.
- Although she has earned fame for her skiing exploits, she didn’t learn skiing until the age of 29. She has revealed in interviews that introduction to skiing changed her life as she realized that she could do anything.
- Her first skiing guide was her father, who learned how to work with visually impaired athletes.
- In 2010, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis because of which she had to relearn how to ski. She even had to change the way she walked. She had just won 2 Bronze medals at the Paralympic Winter Games Vancouver and she was in no mood to allow sclerosis stop her.
- She previously used to rely on her black lab dog Betty Lynn on the slopes. But after Betty developed optic nerve atrophy and went blind, she brought in yellow lab Aziza as her primary guide dog.
- In 2011, she was selected as Adaptive Athlete of the Year by the United States Ski and Snowboard Association.
- In 2010, the National Sports Center for the Disabled selected her as Athlete of the Year.
- At the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games, she managed to win a bronze medal in super combined.
- At the 2015 World Championships, she managed to nab silver medals in downhill and super-G. She also won a bronze medal in the super combined.
- She also works as a motivational speaker. She has worked with junior disabled athletes as a mentor.
- She has collaborated with her husband to establish their team called Vision4Gold. She has revealed that vision stands for having a sight, a dream, or an idea.
- In September 2018, it was announced that she had joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars for the fall season. She also became the first visually impaired contestant of the show.
- Visit her official website @ vision4gold.com.
- Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Featured Image by Danelle Umstead / Instagram