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Alpine Skier Julia Mancuso Going to 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver

Veteran Olympic Skier Makes Her Third Olympics with the U.S. Olympic Team

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Julia Mancuso, U.S. Olympic skier, competes in alpine events, from Olympic Valley, CA

Julia Mancuso, U.S. Olympic skier, competes in alpine events, from Olympic Valley, CA.

Photo by Harry How / Getty Images
Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley, CA, was born right here in Reno, NV. Once she got up to speed on the slopes at Squaw Valley, she grabbed several Junior World Championships medals before moving on to two World Championships medals and a record for most consecutive top three finishes in the U.S. Championships. Vancouver will be Mancuso's third Olympics appearance, where she will defend her 2006 gold medal win in the giant slalom. The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games run from February 12 to 28.

Julia Mancuso's Alpine Skiing Record

During her career, Julia Mancuso has won just about every major alpine skiing competition there is to win. She began World Cup racing at age 16 and entered her first Olympics (2002) at 17. She is currently the Olympic women's giant slalom champion, having brought home gold from Torino in 2006. Among other highlights, in 2009 Mancuso won her 10th U.S. Championship.

Mancuso Wins Two Silvers at Vancouver - Downhill & Women's Combined

Julia Mancuso took the silver medal in the women's downhill, bested only by teammate Lindsey Vonn. The silver-gold combo by the two American women downhill racers is an Olympic first.

Mancuso's second silver medal of the Winter Games came in the women's combined. She is the first woman to medal in the event since Gretchen Fraser won in 1948 at St. Moritz. Lindsey Vonn clipped a gate and fell, taking her out of contention in this event.

With two silvers already in the bag, Julia Mancuso wasn't able to add another medal to her collection in the women's Super G. Her off day was only good for 9th.

A bizarre set of circumstances kept Mancuso off the podium in her attempt to win a second giant slalom gold medal at Vancouver (she was the defending champion from Torino in 2006). During her first run, she was flagged off the course because the previous woman down, teammate Lindsey Vonn, had crashed and was still on the hill in a potentially dangerous spot for both women. Mancuso was on her way to a competitive time when her run was stopped. She was allowed a second start, but her finish was well off the pace. Her second run the next day was fast, but not quick enough to make up for lost time. She came in 8th overall.

What is Alpine Skiing?

Olympic alpine skiing involves a number of events where competitors are timed through the course. These include downhill, giant slalom, Super G, and super combined. At the Olympic level of competition, the top finishers are typically only hundreths of a second apart.

Mancuso's alpine teammates include Lindsey Vonn of Vail, CO. The others are listed by the U.S. Ski Team.

Sources: U.S. Ski Team, 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, Julia Mancuso Website.
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