|— Alpine ski racer —|
Mancuso in December 2006
|Disciplines||Downhill, Super G,
Giant Slalom, Slalom,
|Club||Squaw Valley Ski Team|
March 9, 1984 |
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|World Cup debut||November 20, 1999 (age 15)|
|Teams||3 – (2002–10)|
|Medals||3 (1 gold)|
|Teams||6 – (2003–13)|
|Medals||5 (0 gold)|
|Seasons||13th – (2002–14)|
|Wins||7 – (3 DH, 2 SG, 1 SC, 1 PS)|
|Overall titles||0 – (3rd in 2007)|
|Discipline titles||0 – (2nd in DH & K, 2007,
& SG, 2012, 2013)
Julia Mancuso (born March 9, 1984) is a World Cup alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team. Born 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 five medals (two silver and three 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
World Cup results
- 7 wins – (3 DH, 2 SG, 1 SC, 1 Parallel slalom)
- 35 podiums – (11 DH, 15 SG, 5 GS, 3 SC, 1 Parallel slalom)
|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|
Lifestyle and endorsements
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. Mancuso also models lingerie and has been memorably quoted as saying, "I think underwear is my calling. You can be feminine and fast." 
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". She switched to Völkl skis and Marker bindings following the 2010 season; she was previously with Rossignol. Mancuso changed equipment suppliers after the 2012 season and now uses Head skis, boots, and bindings.
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. She also starred in a commercial for 24 Hour Fitness called 'Reach Your Potential', directed by Emmy nominee Brent Roske. In 2012, Julia appears in the GoPro Hero3 video promotion.
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. Her parents divorced in 1992, and her mother said that Julia "took everything out on the slopes." After his release from prison in 2000, Julia and her father became close. 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.
- Whiting, Sam (2006-11-26). "Julia's Gold: Neither sleet, nor snow, nor familial dysfunction will knock Julia Mancuso off form". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- Dampf, Andrew (2010-02-17). "Vonn captures gold; Mancuso silver". Associated Press.
- SI.com (2010-02-18). "Vonn falls in super-combined, fails to place; Mancuso grabs silver". CNN. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- Tim Layden (2010-02-24). "Vonn's crash derails unlucky teammate Mancuso". Sports Illustrated.
- Dale Robertson (2010-02-25). "Mancuso can't salvage medal in giant slalom". Houston Chronicle.
- Dale Robertson (2010-03-15). "Alpine skiers pledge WCup prize money to Japan". Associated Press.
- "Julia Mancuso Olympic Skier is ‘Super Jules’". Bitten and Bound. 2010-02-19.
- 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.).
- "Racy! Olympic skier launches lingerie line". New York: Associated Press. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
- 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). Retrieved 2007-03-24.
- "Lange introduces "new" Lange Girl concept; names Mancuso first Lange Girl Athlete". Retrieved 2007-03-23.
"Ski Racing Short Films BONUS: Julia Mancuso: Lange Girl". Retrieved 2007-03-23.
- Ski Racing.com – Mancuso joins Marker Volkl Team – 2010-05-04
- "Julia Mancuso signs three year deal with Head skis". Ski Racing.com. April 2, 2012.
- "Visa Go World Julia Mancuso". The Inspiration Room. 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- Layden, Tim (2006-02-13). "Skiing is believing". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Julia Mancuso.|
- Julia Mancuso at the International Ski Federation
- FIS-Ski.com – World Cup season standings – Julia Mancuso
- Ski-db.com – results – Julia Mancuso
- Sports Reference.com – Olympic results – Julia Mancuso
- Julia Mancuso.com – personal website
- U.S. Ski Team.com – profile – Julia Mancuso
- Head skis: Julia Mancuso
- Julia Mancuso on Twitter