DERBY, N.Y. — For David and Martha Mangan, skiing has long been a family love story, one that has their daughter on the sports' grandest stage.
"We met on the ski hill and we like skiing, we like being outdoors, so I think it was pretty natural that we brought our kids outdoors," said Martha in the family's home in Derby along the Lake Erie shore.
The Mangans introduced all six of their children to the sport. Their daughter Tricia, now 20, began racing at Holimont in Ellicottville when she was five years old, and a rivalry with her twin brother William provided an early spark.
"She was never happy losing to the boys, so she was always gunning to beat the boys," David said.
From the start, Tricia showed she had something special, and that grew as she entered high school at Nardin Academy.
"She won an East Coast competition, won the Super G. And that launched her onto the (U.S.) national team," Martha said.
So Tricia spent much of her time away from home, training and competing with the best in the country and the world. Still, she found balance, graduating from Nardin in 2015 before moving on to Dartmouth University to study engineering. She was on the path to success with her blossoming ski career.
Then a freak accident threw the entire family off course. A little more than a year ago, her brother Andrew, then 16, dove into a pile of snow and broke a vertebrae in his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down.
"Actually telling her was the most difficult because she said in her head, 'It was supposed to be me, not Andrew getting hurt. I'm out here skiing fast," Martha said. "She wanted to come right now. We said, 'No, Trish, you're our window to the world.' And she was. And she raced for the next five days when Andrew couldn't even move and we'd hold the phone up to him."
Determined to overcome his injuries and filled with a positive attitude, Andrew has made a remarkable recovery over the last year.
"He walks—he actually won't use his cane anymore," David said. "He's gotten back into rowing. He's been on the snow skiiing."
Back on the slopes, where this clan feels comfortable. And that's where Tricia draws motivation from her brother.
"She realized that Andrew was learning how to walk all over again, and was out there in our garage working three hours a day just to learn how to sit up so that put it in perspective for her," Martha said.
Andrew pushed forward, and so did Tricia with the U.S. national team. As the Olympics approached, she believed she had a chance to make the American roster, but she was not selected and thought her dream was on hold for now. But then this week, the unexpected happened.
"Got the call and it was like ,'Wow!' She called us up so excited," David said.
Tricia learned she was going to the Olympics after all, replacing an injured skier. She hopped on a plane and headed straight to South Korea, where she'll compete in two events.
"She said 'When do you think I'm an Olympian?' And her younger brother Andrew said 'I think you're an Olympian now Trish, but probably when you land in Seoul.' So she's an Olympian," Martha said.
And her entire family, including Andrew, are traveling across the world cheer her on.
"Her brothers and Martha and I are always with her," David said. "To be able to go together to see this is really cool. Really special."
As Tricia climbs the top of the mountain, they'll be there to meet her at the bottom.