Imagine snow skiing down a vertical, icy slope going over 90 mph. Now imagine doing that with one leg.
Meet Greg Mannino, soft-spoken to the point you would never believe his accolades in the sport of downhill racing, including being part of Team USA in the Olympics. He is still skiing into his sixties and loving the sport that brought him back from tragedy.
From Tragedy to High Spirits
In July 1979, at age 17, Greg lost his leg in a horrific accident. This life-changing event absolutely crushed his spirits and had him feeling sorry for himself only for so long.
His parents came in one day and told him to get off the couch because they were all going skiing. Greg got to the mountain and cautiously placed his foot into the binding, and off they went into the cold white powder. He was on one leg with his dad by his side - while his mom cheered them on. And it was like freedom!
Greg felt “normal” on skis. It brought his passion for sports back and gave him that competitive spirit and targeted goals. Greg soon experienced his love of speed again.
Taking Steps Towards Greatness
Greg started race training in Squaw Valley in 1982, then moved to Winter Park from 1983-88. He eventually ended up in Vail, Colorado, skiing with Ski Club Vail in 1989 and staying there throughout his racing career.
Through all these triumphant years, Greg displayed pure grit and sheer determination to become one of the top US Paralympians and Paralympic athletes in the world. He won 22 medals and became the first-ever Paralympic athlete featured on the cover of Skiing Magazine.
Greg was a member of the US Disabled Alpine team from 1986-2001, a five-time Paralympic team member, and he competed as a member of the 1988 US Ski Team under the Team USA Olympics team. And he didn’t stop there.
Greg Mannino has not slowed down and still generously provides his time and energy with disabled sports as well as being a BOC Certified Prosthetist with over 35 years of clinical experience. Greg is an ABC Certified Instructor and is currently volunteering @ TASP, DAV, and the Wounded Warrior programs. His programs just this winter of 2023 have been:
- Achilles International Athletes Ski Camp
- Military Adventure Week
- Warrior Wednesday Ski Camps
- Tribal Adventure Ski Camp
- Special Olympic Race Training
- Paralympic Alpine Athletes
- DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
- Numerous amputees and hearing-impaired people attended the Telluride Adaptive sports program supported by Greg
The Miracle Greg Helped Formulate - Shield & Protect
What we all don’t realize behind the scenes is the constant battle Greg had with chafing, skin irritation and inflammation with his prosthetic leg. In the limb loss community, this is a problem for all. But as with everything else that challenged Greg, he searched and searched for a solution for all his skin issues.
A well-known dermatologist became aware of Greg’s skin issues, and this doctor was also a problem solver. After several years and many iterations, Dr. Paul Dean developed a skin lotion that, in Greg’s words, was “a much-needed miracle.” This skincare formula is called Shield & Protect.
Greg recently said, “Even with the best prosthetic care available, which has improved the athletic ability of patients and dramatically improved their quality of life, yet it has been a double-edged sword. Skin breaks down with heavy use of the prosthesis. Skin can get chaffed and breaks down in all athletic activities. There has never been a specific product that addresses the skin-related issues that not only amputees experience but all athletes experience, Shield and Protect does just that.”
Shield & Protect goes on as a super hydrating lotion and quickly dries into a friction-free powder barrier, creating the ultimate protective layer. You could say it is an antimicrobial “Friction Reducer” to help control skin irritation, inflammation, odor & chafing.
As Greg has mentioned, this product is an enormous benefit to the limb loss community and all sports and activities (other than water sports). Think of Football, Hockey, Running, Cycling, Motor Cross, Basketball (stinky feet), Tennis, Baseball, Orthopedic Slings and Braces, Hiking Gear, LaCrosse, Pickle Ball, Cranial Helmets for young children, and the list goes on.
The Xendurance skincare line, SKIN By XND, is the only company to provide Shield & Protect to the market other than specialized limb loss & diabetic clinics. Xendurance is also the first company to have its skincare, including Shield & Protect, certified by Informed Sport, a premier, global certification for testing banned substances.
A Partnership for Change
Xendurance is extremely proud to be associated with Greg, share his drive for performance and results, and cheer on all his causes.
If you are lucky enough to ask Greg his story and how he persevered and accomplished all he has, he may mention this quote.
"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up" - Babe Ruth