Staci first discovered skiing with Windham Mountain’s Adaptive Sports Foundation when she was only four years old. It was the first activity that the Mannella family could do all together. Staci started with a bamboo pole between two sighted skiers, but she quickly progressed. Shortly after she began out skiing her instructors, so the instructors encouraged her to join the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s race team. She competed in her first national championship when she was only eleven years old, and her career blossomed from there.
A Dream Begins:
When Staci was twelve she was given the opportunity to attend the Hartford Ski Spectacular in Breckenridge Colorado. She met different members of the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team and became inspired to work towards making the team herself. She met guide Kim Seevers, and they both began chasing the dream of making the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Team.
The Road To Sochi:
Staci and Kim skied together for six years competing in both national and international competitions. They claimed numerous national championship titles as well as a World Cup gold medal. Their hard work landed them a spot on the United States Paralympic Alpine Ski Team and allowed them the opportunity to represent the united states at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. With two sixth place finishes under her belt, Staci left the Paralympics excited for more.
Hard Work Pays Off:
Sochi was a once in a lifetime experience, but it was just the beginning for this rising athlete. Staci has continued her training in hopes of competing and medaling in the 2018 Pyeong Chang Paralympic Games. Staci and her new guide Sadie have been skiing together since December of 2015 and since then they have secured some impressive results on the world cup circuit. Some highlights include four world cup gold medals, three world cup silver medals, and a bronze medal at the 2017 World Championships. Sadie and Staci have an amazing relationship off the snow which is apparent when watching them ski. They are both incredibly dedicated to their goals and willing to put in the work necessary to make it happen.
More than just a skier:
With all the racing and attention Staci receives it is easy to forget she is only twenty years old. While she is not flying down the slopes, Staci is a full time student at Dartmouth college. Staci competes on the Dartmouth equestrian team and really enjoys having a team dynamic at Dartmouth. Staci loves hanging out with friends and is hoping to go to veterinarian school one day.