Granby teen Danya Manyak earns spot on major ski tour
Grand County teenager Danya Manyak accomplished something rather remarkable this year, becoming the youngest person competing on the Toyota Freeski Revolution Tour.
Manyak is a 14-year-old Granby resident and freshman student attending online school through Colorado Connections Academy. Earlier this year, Manyak competed in the USSA Sun Valley Spectacular where he secured a slot on this winter’s Revolution Tour. He just competed in the first Revolution Tour event of the season last week at Waterville Valley New Hampshire.
At 14, Manyak is the youngest competitor on the tour this year and while the young man has already been skiing for over a decade, and competing for the last several years, he is just getting started on his journey as a top-tier alpine athlete.
“This feels great,” Manyak said after wrapping up his first event in New Hampshire. “It is really fun to be able to compete with the top guys and see what tricks they are throwing down.”
Manyak was surprisingly humble about his recent successes and stated he does not expect to take top honors during the Revolution Tour this year but hopes the experience will help his grow as a ski athlete. His goal is to improve his abilities and trick repertoire while, hopefully, qualifying for the Revolution Tour again next year.
Despite his grounded approach to competitions, Manyak took home a 19th-place finish in New Hampshire, out of a field of 65 competitors, all of whom were older and typically more experienced on the competition circuit. He is currently in preparation mode for the two other Revolution Tour events he will compete in this year, one set for Park City, Utah, scheduled for early March, and final event at Mammoth Mountain in California.
To prepare for his competitions, Manyak skis seven days a week at Winter Park Resort, typically training extensively in the resort’s terrain parks. Manyak, who attended East Grand Middle School last year, now attends school online, which allows him greater flexibility for his training regimen.
On weekday mornings, Manyak heads to Fraser with his mother, who works as a third-grade teacher, and then takes the bus to the resort base to practice his grinds, spins and flips. On weekends, Manyak’s father typically takes the young man to the hill where the duo work in tandem to sharpen the boy’s skills.
“He is pretty much my coach,” Manyak said of his father. “He takes me to the mountain pretty much all weekend and too all my competitions. He tells me what I need to work on.”
Manyak spends his winters on the snow, but in summer he heads to the Aspen Airbag Camp and the Steamboat Water Ramps to develop new tricks.
His journey to the Revolution Tour kicked off over a decade ago when three-year-old Manyak first learned to ski at the Snow Range Ski Area in southern Wyoming. About six years ago, the Manyak family moved to Granby to be closer to the heart of Colorado’s ski territory and it was not long thereafter before Manyak began formally competing in ski events.
Manyak said he has plans to continue pursuing success in the competitive work for freeskiing.
“I plan to keep doing competitions as long as I can pretty much,” he said. “I want to see where it takes me.”
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