Don’t Stop Working For It: Winter Olympian Is From Northwest Florida

February 10, 2018

Update 2/21: Mia Mangenello and her speed skating team won the bronze medal in team pursuit, the first medal for U.S. women’s speed skating in 16 years.

Don’t stop working for it is the mantra of a Winter Olympian from Northwest Florida.

Speed skater Mia Mangenello, 28, was born in Fort Walton Beach and later lived in Crestview.

Mangenello’s parents opened Mia’s Italian Restaurant in Crestview and named it after her before selling it. Mia worked there growing up. They later opened Dominic’s Pizzeria in Valparaiso (it’s named for her dad). To this day, she still eats pizza to unwind after competitions.

“As a young child I quickly discovered my talent with inline skating and began to excel in the sport. When inline skating gave way to speed skating, I realized my life passion. With the abundant support of my family, we moved to Salt Lake City, UT, so I could train and pursue an Olympic dream,” she said.

After the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics inspired Manganello to switch from inline roller skating to speed skating, the then-13-year-old and her family made the move from Crestview.

In 2010, however, Manganello missed earning a spot on the U.S. team for the Vancouver Olympics and decided to step off the ice.

“I discovered a new love — competitive cycling,” she said.

She spent the next six years competing in cycling, believing that her speed skating days were over.

“In the winter of 2015, after a long break and a visit back to Salt Lake, the ice called once again. I competed in my first speed skate events in six years, ” Manganello said.

Her comeback was solidified when she claimed three titles at the 2017 U.S. Championships: the 1500m, 5000m and 3000m, which she won with a time that matched the American record. She was a member of the U.S. team at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships, where she finished 13th in the 3000m and 14th in the 1500m.

“Never stop dreaming,” she said online from Gangneung Ice Arena in South Korea. “They really do come true.”

Pictured top: Olympian Mia Mangenello is  a Northwest Florida native. Pictured inset: Mangenello sports the official U.S. Olympic team’s official apparel. Pictured below: Mia Mangenello with her parents outside the restaurant in Crestviwe that bears her name. Courtesy photos for, click to enlarge.


3 Responses to “Don’t Stop Working For It: Winter Olympian Is From Northwest Florida”

  1. Thomas on February 12th, 2018 11:32 am

    Go Mia Go!!!!!

  2. Roger Riggs on February 10th, 2018 12:21 pm

    I used to have an auto parts business in and lived in Crestview for several years
    . Eat at Mia’s many times. Great food! Was not aware of Mia the Olympian but I think it’s really good to have representation from our area! Go Mia!

  3. mike on February 10th, 2018 6:16 am

    awesome! nice going Mia! :)

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