BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When you love something, you want to share it with others. That's what Tricia Mangan does every time she comes back home to Western New York.
"That's my favorite part," Mangan says about coming back home. "Talking to younger athletes and helping and inspiring them."
Mangan is a Derby, N.Y. native and Nardin alum who grew up skiing at Holimont in Ellicottville. She makes it back occasionally to help team and inspire young ski racers who were once in her shoes.
She started racing at six years old and despite her self doubts, never looked back.
"I definitely never really thought I was really good, even though I did win my fair share of races when I was younger," she recalled.
Mangan made the junior national team in 2013 and the national team in 2015 before joining the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup circuit. She's experienced a lot and has also been able to juggle her athletic career with her academics.
She began taking classes at Dartmouth in the spring and summer while racing, but wound up taking a break from racing year-round to go back to school full-time in 2019 to get her engineering degree. In all, it took six years to finish college.
"Going back to school actually made me realize how much I love skiing," she said about taking that break. "It made my path a lot harder but I learned a lot."
Mangan's now back skiing full-time on the World Cup circuit and is currently in Beijing for her second Olympic Games. She'll be competing in the alpine combined, a challenge she's looking forward to.
"I love it because it's kind of like an anything can happen event," she said. "I have a background in tech and now I'm focusing on speed, so yea I'm really excited."
The 2018 Winter Olympic Games didn't go according to plan as Mangan crashed in the giant slalom and wasn't able to finish. She did help team USA grab 9th overall in the team event. The mindset heading into this week's race is positive, especially with so much outside support.
"This time around I feel like there's even more people rooting for me who were a big part of getting me here," Mangan said. "So I'm really excited to share that with everyone."
The women's combined is scheduled for February 17th.