When Americans think of female downhill skiers, the first name that comes to mind is that of Lindsey Vonn. She has rightfully garnered much attention for all the winning she has done over the years. But, to solely focus on Vonn would be doing a disservice to some of the other talented female American skiers who have achieved impressive results of their own, one of those being Julia Mancuso.
Mancuso, while not being the superstar that Vonn is, has been a very solid all around skier with some success in past Winter Olympic Games. In her past two Olympics, Mancuso won gold at the 2006 Turin Games in the Giant Slalom and then in the 2010 Vancouver Games. Mancuso won two silver medals, one in the downhill and the other in the combined. Right after Vancouver games, Mancuso continued to be one of the most consistent skiers in the World Cup competition. In the previous three seasons, Mancuso was a podium placer in 10 races.
Going into the games in Sochi, Mancuso will be going in with very few races under her belt as she has decided to take a break from racing and mentally recharge her batteries prior to the Winter Olympics. Therefore, it will be hard to know what kind of form she will be in as she skis during the competition. That being said, Mancuso has an ability to show up at the big event and be able to ski a medal-winning race.
With that in mind, it would appear that Mancuso will be skiing in four of the five downhill skiing events with the slalom being the one she passes up on participating in given that her best overall standing finish in that event was 22nd back in 2006. When trying to predict which events Mancusco will have a chance to medal in, one would have to say that the super G and the combined appear to be the best bets for her winning a medal.
There is one thing Mancuso knows ho to do and that is shine when the spotlight is brightest, which makes following her during Sochi that much more enjoyable.