National Ability Center Celebrates 2022 Winter Paralympics Games by Recognizing Utah Athletes
Utah Paralympian Danelle Umstead named Team USA flag bearer
PARK CITY, UTAH (March 4, 2022) – Today, the National Ability Center (NAC), a leading non-profit organization that provides world-class adaptive recreation and outdoor adventures for individuals and families with disabilities, honors and recognizes 14 Utah athletes that will begin competing at the 2022 Winter Paralympics in Beijing starting today, Friday, March 4 and celebrates Utah Paralympian Danelle Umstead for being named a Team USA flag bearer.
“From everyone at the National Ability Center, we want to wish all the athletes competing in this year’s Winter Games in Beijing the best of luck! We couldn’t be more proud of our competitive athletes and the tenacity they have demonstrated over the last few years preparing for the games. It has been an honor to witness the dedication they have put into their respective sports,” said Danny Glasser, CEO of the National Ability Center. “It is grit, determination and hard work that has shaped these incredible individuals into the phenomenal athletes that they are today.”
The NAC’s adaptive skiing and snowboarding competition programs are designed to teach individuals with physical disabilities about elite level sports and prepare individuals to compete in an elite, international arena. Both of the programs run from November through mid-April, with most training held at Park City Mountain. Alpine race education and training are combined with the appropriate level of competition to foster athlete development and fine tune skills needed for high-level competition. The adaptive snowboard program began in 2008 at Park City Mountain. The NAC is hailed as having one of the first and longest running adaptive snowboard training programs in the world.
Utah Paralympic athletes competing in the 2022 Winter Paralympics include:
Matthew Brewer: Alpine Skiing, National Ability Center athlete & Utah resident (Salt Lake)
Ravi Drugan: Alpine Skiing, National Ability Center athlete
Andrew Haraghey: Alpine Skiing, Westminster College alumnus & National Ability Center athlete
Jesse Keefe: Alpine Skiing, National Ability Center athlete
Danelle Umstead: Alpine Skiing, National Ability Center athlete & Utah resident (Park City) + guide Rob Umstead
Orlando Perez: Alpine Skiing, Puerto Rico, National Ability Center athlete, Utah Resident
Arly Valasquez: Alpine Skiing, Mexico, National Ability Center athlete
Dani Aravich: Nordic Skiing, National Ability Center athlete
Tyler Burdick: Snowboarding, Westminster College alumnus & Born in Salt Lake and current resident
Brittani Coury: Snowboarding, Utah resident (Salt Lake)
Noah Elliott: Snowboarding, National Ability Center alumni & Utah resident (Salt Lake)
Keith Gabel: Snowboarding, Born in Ogden
Brenna Huckaby: Snowboarding, Utah resident (Sandy)
Katy Maddry: Snowboarding, National Ability Center athlete
“It is an absolute honor to be in Beijing to support our athletes on this adventure,” said Erik Leirfallom, High Performance Para Alpine Head Coach at the National Ability Center. “We are so excited to be representing the amazing state of Utah and the adaptive nation on the most sought-after global stage. We encourage our local Park City and Utah community to tune into the competition and root for all the adaptive athletes pursuing their dreams.”
For more information about the National Ability Center, visit discovernac.org. To join Team Flyers or the High Performance team, visit discovernac.org/compete/high-performance/. For updates on standings and results, visit our social media channels throughout the games on facebook.com/NationalAbilityCenter or on Instagram @NationalAbilityCenter.