Our Values In Action
Team USA Inspiration
U.S. Paralympic Alpine Skiing Bronze Medalist Danelle Umstead zooms down mountains at speeds of 70 miles per hour. And the three-time, Comcast-sponsored U.S. Paralympian does it all by sound. Prior to her successful run at the Paralympic Winter Games 2018, we partnered with Umstead and other athletes to help tell their inspiring stories.
Umstead was 27 years old when a degenerative disease robbed her of her vision. Two years later, at 29, she was in a bad emotional state. She had recently lost her mother and, she says, she had lost the will to live.
“My dad calls me up on the phone one day and says ‘I want you to come to Northern New Mexico to visit me, and I’m going to take you skiing,’” she told Comcast NBCUniversal employees in a keynote address during the 2018 Global Accessibility Awareness Week. “I said, ‘Are you crazy? I don’t know how to ski, and do I need to remind you that I’m blind?’”
My dad calls me up on the phone one day and says ‘I want you to come to Northern New Mexico to visit me, and I’m going to take you skiing.’ I said, ‘Are you crazy? I don’t know how to ski, and do I need to remind you that I’m blind?’
His suggestion seemed ludicrous, but she was feeling desperate. Not long after, she found herself on a snowy mountainside with her father, who successfully guided her down. With that, Umstead had found a new sense of freedom.
A decade later, she would win her first bronze medal with her husband, Rob, as her sighted guide. Communicating through headsets worn beneath their helmets, Rob tells her when to turn and jump, calling out obstacles and describing the changing terrain.
When she’s not skiing, Umstead travels the country giving motivational speeches and, as she puts it, “inspiring others to live the impossible every day.”
In 2018, Comcast NBCUniversal broadcast Umstead’s runs at the Paralympic Winter Games. We covered an unprecedented 250 hours of events with play-by-play commentators, analysts, and reporters on NBC, NBCSN, and NBCSports.com.