During the Sochi Olympics, 29-year-old Julia Mancuso walked away on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 with a bronze medal in the women's super-combined which couples the times of a downhill run and a slalom run. Gold was won by Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch, silver was taken by Austria's Nicole Hosp.
Mancuso's bronze was the first medal taken for Alpine skiing for the United States at Sochi. It was Mancuso's fourth medal in three Olympics. She is one of only three Americans who have won medals at three consecutive Winter Games.
She has garnered more major medals than any other American woman. And now she has won four Olympic and five World Championship medals.
In 2006, Mancuso won gold for the giant slalom in Torino. In 2010 she won two silver medals for downhill and super-combined in Vancouver.
At Sochi the warmer weather during her super-combined event was a help to this young woman from Squaw Valley, Calif.
She was quoted by David Leon Moore in an article for USA Today Sports as saying, "This is the kind of snow we get in California. In Torino, it was the snowstorms that we get (in Northern California). Now, it's that California sun that I'm feeling when I'm up on the hill."
Mancuso started skiing at two years of age, and started racing at age eight. When Mancuso was 14 she was chosen by the U.S. Ski Team for a development program. She and her sister April found themselves on the 2000 Development Team. Her World Cup debut was at age 15 years of age.
At age 16, she was a NorAm champion. At age 17, she was in the Olympics. While still a teenager, she was winning Junior World Championships medals. Into her twenties, she won two World Championships medals.
Moore reported that Mancuso said of her Sochi experience, "... these are great accomplishments that I'm really proud of. I feel like in our own ways we have such strengths, and it's cool to be a part of that."
Mancuso has trained with Scott Sanchez in Maui for seven years. Sanchez was an Olympic winner for Alpine skiing twice. He was an Olympic coach for 12 cycles as well.