Julia Mancuso : biography
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.
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. Aspenin 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. 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 campaign website.