Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Julia Mancuso

Julia Mancuso (born March 9, 1984 in Reno, Nevada) is an alpine ski racer with the U.S. Ski Team. 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 bronzes) at the World Championships and five races in regular World Cup competition. Her three Olympic medals are the most ever for a female American alpine skier.

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 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. 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 campaign website

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