Julia Mancuso

julia mancuso

Julia Mancuso began water skiing at the age of 2 but by age 8, she was racing on snow skis. She grew up skiing at Lake Tahoe and competed in her first World Cup when she was 15. Later, she would go on to win an Olympic gold medal in giant slalom in 2006, becoming the first American woman in eight years to win a gold medal in an alpine event. As a result of her determination and hard work, Mancuso won two silver medals at the 2010 Olympics in the downhill and combined and a bronze medal in the downhill in the 2014 Games. With these achievements, she became the first American skier to win medals in three straight Olympics and is the most decorated US female Olympic skier in history.

Mancuso always knew she would win a gold medal. As a young child, she drew a picture of herself competing and winning in the Olympics. She grew up skiing in Olympic Valley, CA after all.



Sport: Alpine Skiing

Born: March 9, 1984

Hometown: Reno, NV

Height: 5’ 6”

Olympic Medals: Gold in 2006, two Silvers in 2010 and a Bronze in 2014.

Other Titles/Notable Wins: 5 World Championships medals.

“Approach every day with a smile. Good or bad, your attitude can make a difference. No matter what happens in a competition I always remind myself to smile before bed.”

Julie Mancuso

Because of hip dysplasia, Julia suffered pain in her right hip for most of her career. At the end of the 2015 season, the pain was inhibiting Julia’s performance and she decided to have surgery. What was meant to be a simple surgery ended up lasting 5 ½ hours. During the initial three-month recovery, she walked with crutches and gained strength through water therapy. Training now involves Pilates and weight-strengthening exercises. While most people go to Pilates in bare feet, Mancuso shows up to Pilates class wearing ski boots so she can translate correct body position to the slopes.

Due to her surgery, Mancuso has had to be patient and let her body heal. Instead of giving in to pressures to retire and take it easy, Mancuso wants to go out on top. "I have always been a positive person. When I am in pain and it's getting hard, I stop focusing on my emotions and focus on the fun of skiing. Your mental game is important" says Mancuso.

When she isn't training on the slopes of Squaw Valley, CA, she is cross-training in Maui. Mancuso enjoys surfing, stand up paddling, slacklining, swimming, and free-diving. While she follows a healthy diet, she will sometimes enjoy shaved ice as a treat.

"I am passionate about setting goals and achieving them," says Mancuso. "Pick a goal and write it down." Although Mancuso has endured painful moments, her goals have led her to be one of the greatest women in U.S. Ski Team history. "I know I can win another gold medal. I put a smile on my face, stay positive, and enjoy the moment."

“When things get tough you have to believe even more. I always stay positive and great things eventually happen even when no one else believes. My favorite quote is “believe you can or believe you can’t. Either way you are right.” Henry Ford.

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