OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - One Crestview resident is now a medalist in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, as Team USA won the first women's long track speedskating medal in 16 years.
But the team couldn't have done it without Mia Manganello.
The 28-year-old from Okaloosa County was a part of the trio that beat out Canada for the bronze. We spoke with her mother Karen over the phone Wednesday, who got emotional talking about her daughter's victory.
"She's just been doing this for so long that it's just almost a relief because you just want it for her so bad," Karen said.
Mia was born at Eglin Air Force Base and raised in Crestview. Karen says the family relocated further south for her inline skating career, then again when Mia was 13 years old to Salt Lake City for her ice career. In 2010, her mother says she missed the Olympics qualifying event by a hair.
"So she decided to step away and started cycling, and she did that for six years," Karen said. "She decided to go back and try again because she felt like she had unfinished business."
Her mother says she was in awe of her daughter's courage to go back to skating.
"To go [to South Korea] and to win a medal, this is so Mia," Karen said. "I never doubted that this is exactly what would happen."
Mia Manganello spoke with reporters in Pyeongchang after the bronze win, saying she's fulfilled a dream.
"It's a long journey, and for it to end with a medal is a lifelong dream and to do it alongside my teammates makes it even more special," Mia said.
Mia will be competing again in the mass start program on Saturday, February 24 in South Korea.