Mario Armano started as a child with football, then switched to volleyball, competing in the minor leagues up to series C. When he returned from military service he continued to play volleyball and also practiced football and athletics in the summer. In the latter he specialized with considerable success in the shot put and discus throw. During his military service in the Air Force he came in contact with bobsledding for the first time, when track & field athletes were recruited for the first time for their explosive power. In the Air Force he earned a place on the 1967 Italian team and was subsequently selected for the 1968 Winter Olympic team, where he won a gold medal as a team member of the four-man bobsleigh piloted by the legendary Eugenio Monti. He also was selected for the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck but was unable to compete due to injury . Additionally, Armano won four World Championships medals\: 1969 two-man bronze and four-man silver with Gianfranco Gaspari driving, a 1970 four-man gold with pilot Nevio De Zordo and a 1971 two-man gold again with Gaspari. In 1969 Armano won the European Championship in the two-man (with Gaspari). From 1972-76 he also participated in the European Cup, the Nations Cup and Tyrolean Cup.
After retiring from active sports Armano became a member of the bob commission from 1976-80 and acted as a national and international judge. In 1982 he was named president of the athletes’ association of Novara and he was a national adviser starting in 1992-93. Armano also acted as President of the Novara branch of the Italian Olympic Committee. Besides his many engagements in sports management, he worked for a local bank and contributed to the book Il bob (The Bobsleigh) by Gaspari and Bee. Armano and his teammate Luciano De Paolis received the 2009 Italian Fair Play Award.