It’d be safe to call Mia Manganello a world traveller.
One day she’s in Salt Lake City, Utah. Another day she’s in China.
One day Poland, another the Netherlands.
This is the life of an Olympic medalist speed skater.
Yet home to her is on the Emerald Coast. Home to her is Crestview, despite the fact she’s been travelling since the age of 10.
“It’s interesting to realize I only lived there for 10 years, which at this age is a third of my life,” said the 29-year-old. “Some of my best friends, they tie back to Walker Elementary.
“Crestview has always been the town I went back to, that felt like home.”
Soon enough she’ll be back “home” in February, when she’ll accept the All Sports Association Amateur award on the 15th at the 50th Annual Banquet at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.
The nod comes after Manganello won bronze in the team pursuit alongside Heather Bergsma and Brittany Bowe at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. The medal was U.S. speed skating’s first Olympic medal since 2010.
“I was shocked,” Manganello said. “I learned shortly after the games of the award. At that moment the medal still was a bit surreal. Visiting my hometown, it started to sink in and I realized this award is a big friggin’ deal.”
In April, Manganello returned home to accept the key to Crestview, an honor she called “overwhelming in the best sense of the word.”
Soon after she married the love of her life, Craig.
Yep, it’s safe to say 2018 has been Manganello’s year.
“I’ve balled my eyes out a few times this year – tears of happiness,” she said.
The February trip will coincide with the start of the cycling season for the dual sport star, who likes to temper expectations despite her success.
“Sport-wise, I like to keep things fun and light in the sense of not putting too much pressure on the long-term goals,” Manganello said. “I’m all about enjoying the moment with skating and cycling.”
And soon she’ll be enjoying her moment at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, where she’ll be joined on stage by keynote speaker Tim Tebow and collection of prep, college and pro athletes.
“I’m so honored,” Manganello said. “It’ll be good to be home. It’ll be a nice little weekend getaway.”