Julia Mancuso

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Julia Mancuso

Mancuso in December 2006
DisciplinesDownhill, Super G,
Giant Slalom, Slalom,
Combined
ClubSquaw Valley Ski Team
Born(1984-03-09) March 9, 1984 (age 28)
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
World Cup debutNovember 20, 1999
(age 15)
Websitejuliamancuso.com
Olympics
Teams3 – (2002-10)
Medals3 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams5 – (2003-11)
Medals4 (0 gold)
World Cup
Seasons13th – (200012)
Wins7 – (3 DH, 2 SG, 1 SC, 1 PS)
Podiums31
Overall titles0 – (3rd in 2007)
Discipline titles0 – (2nd in DH & K, 2007), (2nd in SG, 2012)
 
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Julia Mancuso

Mancuso in December 2006
DisciplinesDownhill, Super G,
Giant Slalom, Slalom,
Combined
ClubSquaw Valley Ski Team
Born(1984-03-09) March 9, 1984 (age 28)
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
World Cup debutNovember 20, 1999
(age 15)
Websitejuliamancuso.com
Olympics
Teams3 – (2002-10)
Medals3 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams5 – (2003-11)
Medals4 (0 gold)
World Cup
Seasons13th – (200012)
Wins7 – (3 DH, 2 SG, 1 SC, 1 PS)
Podiums31
Overall titles0 – (3rd in 2007)
Discipline titles0 – (2nd in DH & K, 2007), (2nd in SG, 2012)

Julia Mancuso (born March 9, 1984) is a World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team. Born in in Reno, Nevada, she was the gold medalist in the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the silver medalist in both downhill and combined at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She has also won four medals (two silver and two bronze) at the World Championships and seven races in regular World Cup competition. Her three Olympic medals are the most ever for a female American alpine skier.

Contents

Racing career

Mancuso made her World Cup debut at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on November 20, 1999, at the age of 15. She scored her first World Cup points (top-30 finish in a race) during the 2001 season. While she often struggled in World Cup races over the next few seasons, she enjoyed exceptional success at the Junior World Championships, winning a record eight medals, including five golds in 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Her World Cup results improved dramatically during the 2005 season, as she climbed to ninth place overall from 55th place in 2004. At the 2005 World Championships, she won bronze medals in both the super G and the giant slalom competitions. Her gold medal at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics was unexpected, as she had just three podiums that season, though all were within weeks of the Olympics. Only one of those podiums was in giant slalom, a third place in the final GS race before the Olympics.

She won the race despite ongoing pain in her right knee, which was finally traced to hip dysplasia.[1] She would finish the 2006 season in eighth place, including podium (top three) finishes in three races, although she could sometimes barely walk by season's end.

At the start of the off-season, Mancuso endured arthroscopic surgery on her right hip to remove an inch-long bone spur on the ball of the joint.[1] After several months off skis, she resumed training with the U.S. team in August, at their summer ski camp in South America. By the start of the 2007 season, she was almost fully recovered.

Mancuso at Aspen
in November 2006
Mancuso in December 2006

Although she started off slowly, with a number of disappointing results in the first few weeks as she worked back into race shape, the 2007 season would turn out to be Mancuso's breakout year on the World Cup circuit. She won her first World Cup race on December 19, 2006, a downhill in Val-d'Isère, France, and then took second in another downhill the next day. She went on to win three more races during the season; a Super G, a super combined, and another downhill. At the 2007 World Championships in Åre, Sweden, she won a silver medal in the super combined. After finishing on the podium in three consecutive races (2nd, 1st, 3rd) in Tarvisio, Italy, on March 2–4, 2007, she was tied for the overall World Cup lead. She eventually finished the season in third place overall, the best finish by an American woman since Tamara McKinney in 1984, until Lindsey Vonn won the overall title in 2008. Mancuso finished in second place in the 2007 season standings for both downhill and combined.

Following the 2008 season, Mancuso did not achieve a top-three finish in World Cup events for nearly two years due to back problems, so her silver medal in the women's downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was another surprise.[2] The very next day, she won another silver in the Women's Super Combined, an event that incorporates both a downhill and a slalom run.[3] However, while Mancuso was trying to defend her title in giant slalom, Lindsey Vonn crashed after Mancuso, the next skier, had started, forcing Mancuso's run to be stopped just before she reached Vonn's crash.[4] Forced to re-start from the back of the pack, Mancuso only managed an 18th-place first run, and her strong second run only brought her up to eighth overall.[5] On the first competition day at the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch, Germany, she once again proved her strength at big events by winning the silver medal in the Super-G.

A month later she won her first World Cup race in over four years, a victory in the downhill at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Since this was a few days after a terrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, she launched a fundraiser by pledging half her race earnings of the World Cup finals to the skiershelpingjapan.com campaign website.[6]

World Cup results

Season standings

SeasonAgeOverallSlalomGiant
Slalom
Super GDownhillCombined
2001161135547
20021773373317
200318464425275
2004195532582742
200520926713106
200621822116118
2007223244422
2008237285876
200924274217272436
201025202816922
2011265519338
20122745092522

Race podiums

SeasonDateLocationDisciplinePlace
200627 Jan 2006Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, ItalySuper G2nd
28 Jan 2006Downhill2nd
4 Feb 2006Germany Ofterschwang, GermanyGiant Slalom3rd
200719 Dec 2006France Val-d'Isère, FranceDownhill1st
20 Dec 2006Downhill2nd
13 Jan 2007Austria Altenmarkt, AustriaDownhill3rd
14 Jan 2007Super Combined1st
19 Jan 2007Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, ItalySuper G1st
20 Jan 2007Downhill2nd
21 Jan 2007Giant Slalom2nd
2 Mar 2007Italy Tarvisio, ItalySuper Combined2nd
3 Mar 2007Downhill1st
4 Mar 2007Super G3rd
200827 Oct 2007Austria Sölden, AustriaGiant Slalom2nd
21 Dec 2007Austria St. Anton, AustriaDownhill3rd
22 Dec 2007Super Combined3rd
28 Dec 2007Austria Lienz, AustriaGiant Slalom2nd
20 Jan 2008Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, ItalySuper G2nd
22 Feb 2008Canada Whistler, CanadaDownhill3rd
20107 Mar 2010Switzerland Crans-Montana, SwitzerlandSuper G3rd
20115 Dec 2010Canada Lake Louise, CanadaSuper G3rd
22 Jan 2011Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, ItalyDownhill2nd
27 Feb 2011Sweden Åre, SwedenSuper G3rd
6 Mar 2011Italy Tarvisio, ItalySuper G2nd
16 Mar 2011Switzerland Lenzerheide, SwitzerlandDownhill1st
201226 Nov 2011United States Aspen, USAGiant Slalom3rd
4 Dec 2011Canada Lake Louise, CanadaSuper G3rd
7 Jan 2012Austria Bad Kleinkirchheim, AustriaDownhill2nd
5 Feb 2012Germany Garmisch, GermanySuper G1st
21 Feb 2012Russia Moscow, RussiaParallel slalom1st
15 Mar 2012Austria Schladming, AustriaSuper G2nd

Lifestyle and endorsements

Mancuso's nickname among her U.S. Ski Team teammates and fans is "Super Jules".[7] Following her Olympic gold medal in 2006, a ski run at Squaw Valley Ski Resort was renamed "Julia's Gold".[8]

After her coach gave her a plastic tiara as a good-luck token in 2005, she wore it over her racing helmet during several slalom races. She wore her tiara following her Silver Medal run in the Women's Downhill and again at the medal ceremony at the 2010 Winter Olympics. In 2010, Mancuso launched her own lingerie line named Kiss My Tiara.[9] Mancuso also models lingerie and has been memorably quoted as saying, "I think underwear is my calling. You can be feminine and fast." [10]

In December 2006, Lange ski boots announced that Mancuso would be the first-ever "Lange Girl Athlete", and be the subject of posters, images, and an "ongoing effort to showcase exceptional women ski athletes who are also attractive and inspiring".[11] She switched to Völkl skis and Marker bindings following the 2010 season; she was previously with Rossignol.[12] Mancuso changed equipment suppliers after the 2012 season and now uses Head skis, boots, and bindings.[13]

During the 2010 Winter Olympics, VISA featured Mancuso in an animated story describing how as a child she had drawn a picture of herself as a gold medalist, and closing with a photograph of her after winning the gold medal in 2006.[14] She also starred in a commercial for 24 Hour Fitness called 'Reach Your Potential', directed by Emmy nominee Brent Roske.

Personal life

Mancuso in January 2011

Mancuso was born in Reno, Nevada, and grew up in the Lake Tahoe area as the middle of three sisters, between older sister April and younger sister Sara. Her father, Ciro Mancuso, was arrested and convicted of running a $140 million marijuana smuggling operation when Julia was five years old.[15] Her parents divorced in 1992, and her mother said that Julia "took everything out on the slopes."[15] After his release from prison, Julia and her father became close.[15]Mancuso's sentence was greatly reduced because of his cooperation with the government in cases against other alleged organization members and Mancuso's lawyer Patrick Hallinan. As a result of his assistance to the government, Mancuso was allowed to keep $5 million in proceeds from his trafficking business.

She graduated from The Winter Sports School in Park City, Utah, in 2000 and resides in Olympic Valley, California.

Her boyfriend is Aksel Lund Svindal, a champion alpine ski racer from Norway.

References

  1. ^ a b Whiting, Sam (2006-11-26). "Julia's Gold: Neither sleet, nor snow, nor familial dysfunction will knock Julia Mancuso off form". San Francisco Chronicle. http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/11/26/CMGVVM4C6D1.DTL&type=printable. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  2. ^ Dampf, Andrew (2010-02-17). "Vonn captures gold; Mancuso silver". Associated Press. http://www.poststar.com/sports/article_00c59a32-1c11-11df-beaa-001cc4c002e0.html. 
  3. ^ SI.com (2010-02-18). "Vonn falls in super-combined, fails to place; Mancuso grabs silver". CNN. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/olympics/2010/02/18/super.combined/?cnn=yes&hpt=T3. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  4. ^ Tim Layden (2010-02-24). "Vonn's crash derails unlucky teammate Mancuso". Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/olympics/2010/writers/tim_layden/02/24/vonn.mancuso/. 
  5. ^ Dale Robertson (2010-02-25). "Mancuso can't salvage medal in giant slalom". Houston Chronicle. http://www.seattlepi.com/olympics/415886_olygslalom25.html. 
  6. ^ Dale Robertson (2010-03-15). "Alpine skiers pledge WCup prize money to Japan". Associated Press. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/more/03/15/skiers.pledge.money.japan.ap/index.html. 
  7. ^ "Julia Mancuso Olympic Skier is ‘Super Jules’". Bitten and Bound. 2010-02-19. http://www.bittenandbound.com/2010/02/19/julia-mancuso-olympic-skier-is-super-jules-photos-video/. 
  8. ^ Whiting, Sam (2006-11-26). "Julia's Gold: Neither sleet, nor snow, nor familial dysfunction will knock Julia Mancuso off form". SFGate.com (Hearst Communications Inc.). http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-11-26/living/17320414_1_julia-mancuso-downhill-olympic-medal. 
  9. ^ "Racy! Olympic skier launches lingerie line". New York: Associated Press. 2010-02-11. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/35354946/ns/today-today_in_vancouver/?ocid=xnetr1-3. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  10. ^ Longmore, Andrew (2007-02-11). "Schuss in boots: All eyes will be on America’s pin-up of the slopes, nicknamed Princess, as she goes for gold today in Åre, Sweden". London: The Sunday Times (UK). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article1364815.ece. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  11. ^ "Lange introduces "new" Lange Girl concept; names Mancuso first Lange Girl Athlete". http://www.skiracing.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4457&Itemid=2. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
    "Ski Racing Short Films BONUS: Julia Mancuso: Lange Girl". http://www.skiracing.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4456&Itemid=57. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  12. ^ Ski Racing.com – Mancuso joins Marker Volkl Team – 2010-05-04
  13. ^ "Julia Mancuso signs three year deal with Head skis". Ski Racing.com. April 2, 2012. http://www.skiracing.com/?q=node/11856. 
  14. ^ "Visa Go World Julia Mancuso". The Inspiration Room. 2010-02-13. http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2010/visa-go-world-julia-mancuso/. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  15. ^ a b c Layden, Tim (2006-02-13). "Skiing is believing". Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/olympics/2006/writers/02/13/mancuso/index.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 

External links