Julia Mancuso

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Julia Mancuso
— Alpine skier —
Julia Mancuso 2.jpg
Mancuso in December 2006
Disciplines Downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, combined
Club Squaw Valley Ski Team
Born (1984-03-09) March 9, 1984 (age 30)
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
World Cup debut November 20, 1999
(age 15)
Website juliamancuso.com
Olympics
Teams 4 – (200214)
Medals 4 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams 6 – (200313)
Medals 5 (0 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 13th – (200214)
Wins 7 – (3 DH, 2 SG, 1 SC, 1 PS)
Podiums 35
Overall titles 0 – (3rd in 2007)
Discipline titles 0 – (2nd in DH & K, 2007,
    & SG, 2012, 2013)

Julia Marie Mancuso (March 9, 1984) is an American World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist. She won the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics, and was the silver medalist in both downhill and combined in 2010, and the bronze medalist in the combined in 2014. She has also won five medals (two silver and three bronze) at the World Championships and seven races in regular World Cup competition. Her four Olympic medals are the most ever for a female American alpine skier.

Racing career[edit]

Mancuso made her World Cup debut at the age of 15 at Copper Mountain, Colorado, on November 20, 1999. Scouted by Patrick Rooney, he knew he had a gem. She scored her first World Cup points (top-30 finish) during the 2001 season. While Mancuso 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.

Mancuso's 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 (finishing events in the top three) 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.

Mancuso 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 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 restart 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]

Over the three seasons through 2013, Mancuso was on the World Cup podium in at least 10 races, placing well in the season standings in varied events. But she finished in the top 15 in only one of the several late-2013 events that launched the 2014 season, and decided to take a break from the World Cup circuit to refresh for the 2014 Olympics.[7] Mancuso's strategy worked, as she won her fourth Olympic medal, a bronze, in the women's super combined at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, after placing first in the downhill section.

World Cup results[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Season Age  Overall   Slalom  Giant
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2001 16 113 55 47
2002 17 73 37 33 17
2003 18 46 44 25 27 5
2004 19 55 32 58 27 42
2005 20 9 26 7 13 10 6
2006 21 8 22 11 6 11 8
2007 22 3 24 4 4 2 2
2008 23 7 28 5 8 7 6
2009 24 27 42 17 27 24 36
2010 25 20 28 16 9 22
2011 26 5 51 9 3 3 8
2012 27 4 50 9 2 5 22
2013 28 4 33 11 2 9 6
2014 29 22 30 14 16

Source:[8]

Race podiums[edit]

  • 7 wins – (3 DH, 2 SG, 1 SC, 1 parallel slalom)
  • 35 podiums – (11 DH, 15 SG, 5 GS, 3 SC, 1 parallel slalom)
Season Date Location Discipline Place
2006 27 Jan 2006 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Super-G 2nd
28 Jan 2006 Downhill 2nd
4 Feb 2006 Ofterschwang, Germany Giant slalom 3rd
2007 19 Dec 2006 Val-d'Isère, France Downhill 1st
20 Dec 2006 Downhill 2nd
13 Jan 2007 Altenmarkt, Austria Downhill 3rd
14 Jan 2007 Super combined 1st
19 Jan 2007 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Super-G 1st
20 Jan 2007 Downhill 2nd
21 Jan 2007 Giant slalom 2nd
2 Mar 2007 Tarvisio, Italy Super combined 2nd
3 Mar 2007 Downhill 1st
4 Mar 2007 Super-G 3rd
2008 27 Oct 2007 Sölden, Austria Giant slalom 2nd
21 Dec 2007 St. Anton, Austria Downhill 3rd
22 Dec 2007 Super combined 3rd
28 Dec 2007 Lienz, Austria Giant slalom 2nd
20 Jan 2008 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Super-G 2nd
22 Feb 2008 Whistler, Canada Downhill 3rd
2010 7 Mar 2010    Crans-Montana, Switzerland Super-G 3rd
2011 5 Dec 2010 Lake Louise, Canada Super-G 3rd
22 Jan 2011 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Downhill 2nd
27 Feb 2011 Åre, Sweden Super-G 3rd
6 Mar 2011 Tarvisio, Italy Super-G 2nd
16 Mar 2011    Lenzerheide, Switzerland Downhill 1st
2012 26 Nov 2011 Aspen, USA Giant slalom 3rd
4 Dec 2011 Lake Louise, Canada Super-G 3rd
7 Jan 2012 Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria Downhill 2nd
5 Feb 2012 Garmisch, Germany Super-G 1st
21 Feb 2012 Moscow, Russia Parallel slalom 1st
15 Mar 2012 Schladming, Austria Super-G 2nd
2013 2 Dec 2012 Lake Louise, Canada Super-G 2nd
8 Dec 2012    St. Moritz, Switzerland Super-G 3rd
1 Mar 2013 Garmisch, Germany Super-G 2nd
3 Mar 2013 Super-G 3rd

World Championship results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2003 18 DNF1 21 7
2005 20 8 3 3 9
2007 22 5 6 10 2
2009 24 18 DNF DNF1
2011 26 DNF1 16 2 6 7
2013 28 22 3 5 8

Olympic results Olympic rings with white rims.svg[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2002 17 13
2006 21 1 11 7 9
2010 25 8 9 2 2
2014 29 DNF1 8 8 3

Lifestyle and endorsements[edit]

Mancuso in January 2011

Mancuso's nickname among her U.S. Ski Team teammates and fans is "Super Jules".[9] Following her Olympic gold medal in 2006, a ski run formerly called "Exhibition" at Squaw Valley Ski Resort was renamed "Julia's Gold".[1]

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.[10] Mancuso also models lingerie and has been memorably quoted as saying, "I think underwear is my calling. You can be feminine and fast." [11]

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".[12] She switched to Völkl skis and Marker bindings following the 2010 season; she was previously with Rossignol.[13] Mancuso changed equipment suppliers after the 2012 season and now uses Head skis, boots, and bindings.[14]

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.[15] She also starred in a commercial for 24 Hour Fitness called 'Reach Your Potential', directed by Emmy nominee Brent Roske. In 2012, Mancuso appeared in the GoPro Hero3 video promotion.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Of Italian descent, Mancuso was born in Reno, Nevada, and grew up in the nearby Lake Tahoe area as the middle of three sisters, between older sister April and younger sister Sara. Her father, Ciro Mancuso, was arrested at the family home when Julia was five years old, and was later convicted of running a $140 million marijuana smuggling operation.[17] Her parents divorced in 1992, and her mother Andrea (née Tuffanelli)[1][18] said that Julia "took everything out on the slopes."[17] After his release from prison in 2000, Julia and her father became close.[17] Ciro'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, Ciro Mancuso was allowed to keep $5 million in proceeds from his trafficking business.

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

She dated Norwegian alpine skier Aksel Lund Svindal for four years, until they decided to go their separate ways in September 2013.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Whiting, Sam (November 26, 2006). "Julia's Gold: Neither sleet, nor snow, nor familial dysfunction will knock Julia Mancuso off form". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 10, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2007. 
  2. ^ Dampf, Andrew (February 17, 2010). "Vonn captures gold; Mancuso silver". Associated Press. 
  3. ^ SI.com (February 18, 2010). "Vonn falls in super-combined, fails to place; Mancuso grabs silver". CNN. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  4. ^ Tim Layden (February 24, 2010). "Vonn's crash derails unlucky teammate Mancuso". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ Dale Robertson (February 25, 2010). "Mancuso can't salvage medal in giant slalom". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ Dale Robertson (March 15, 2010). "Alpine skiers pledge WCup prize money to Japan". Associated Press. Archived from the original on March 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (December 31, 2013). "Sports Briefing: Mancuso Will Take a Break". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Julia Mancuso". FIS. World Cup season standings. Retrieved March 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Julia Mancuso Olympic Skier is ‘Super Jules’". Bitten and Bound. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on February 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Racy! Olympic skier launches lingerie line". Associated Press (New York: MSNBC). February 11, 2010. Archived from the original on February 14, 2010. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  11. ^ Longmore, Andrew (February 11, 2007). "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). Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Lange introduces "new" Lange Girl concept; names Mancuso first Lange Girl Athlete". Retrieved March 23, 2007. 
    "Ski Racing Short Films BONUS: Julia Mancuso: Lange Girl". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2007. 
  13. ^ Ski Racing.com – Mancuso joins Marker Volkl Team – 2010-05-04
  14. ^ "Julia Mancuso signs three year deal with Head skis". Ski Racing.com. April 2, 2012. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Visa Go World Julia Mancuso". The Inspiration Room. February 13, 2010. Archived from the original on February 15, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  16. ^ "GoPro HERO3: Almost as Epic as the HERO3+". YouTube. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Layden, Tim (February 13, 2006). "Skiing is believing". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 18, 2006. Retrieved February 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ Brady, Eric (February 10, 2014). "Mancuso's first thought after stellar run: Her late grandpa". USA Today. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]