News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

February 10, 2014

Winter Olympics: U.S.’s Mancuso wins 4th Olympic Alpine medal

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — For years, Julia Mancuso’s skiing accomplishments — and there were many — were overshadowed by Lindsey Vonn’s.

When it comes to Olympic Alpine events, though, no American woman comes close.

Turning in a terrific run to lead after the downhill, then recovering from a rattling start in the slalom, Mancuso earned the bronze in the super-combined at the Sochi Games on Monday for her fourth medal at an Olympics. She already was the only U.S. female Alpine racer with more than two, which is Vonn’s total.

“Skiing and growing up with someone like Lindsey, who’s just amazing on the World Cup and breaking records left and right there — to have something that I can break records in at the same time is also fun and exciting for me,” said Mancuso, whose two-run time of 2 minutes, 35.15 seconds was 0.53 slower than champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany.

“If I can keep the Olympics as my thing, that’s fine,” Mancuso said, “and I’m really proud of it.”

It sure showed Monday, the way she punched the air and screamed for joy after the slalom, did a jig on her step of the podium during the flower ceremony, then ran around with a U.S. flag, hugging family members.

She won the gold in the giant slalom at the 2006 Turin Games, then silvers in the super-combined and downhill at Vancouver in 2010. Only two other Winter Olympians from the U.S., speedskater Bonnie Blair and short track star Apolo Anton Ohno, have won individual medals at three editions of the games.

“She is everything you want your athletes to be,” said Bill Marolt, CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “She brings herself to her best possible level of preparation and puts it all out there.”

Only four women from anywhere own more Alpine medals than Mancuso, who can increase her total over the next two weeks, starting with Wednesday’s downhill. The record of six is shared by Croatia’s Janica Kostelic and Sweden’s Anja Paerson.

The 29-year-old Mancuso, who grew up in Squaw Valley, Calif., was asked what’s different about her when she’s in an Olympic start hut.

“I feel more nervous. It’s not nerves of failure, it’s just nerves,” she explained. “There’s just a lot of emotion and knowing that, ‘This is my chance. This is my shot.”’

At the 2010 Olympics, Vonn edged Mancuso in the downhill and added a bronze in the super-G. But because of recent knee surgery, Vonn is back in the U.S. this time around, commentating for NBC instead of competing.

While Vonn’s resume includes 59 World Cup race victories and four overall titles, Mancuso’s never enjoyed that sort of success. Mancuso has seven career World Cup wins, and really struggled this season, never better than seventh.

There were problems figuring which boots to use. There was the potential for a real crisis of confidence.

In December, she took time off to gather herself with an eye to the Olympics.

“You definitely start to doubt things, for sure. ... The best thing we could have done is take a break for Christmas and New Year and then get back into it,” said Chris Knight, Mancuso’s personal coach on the U.S. team. “It was like pressing the reset button for her, and it has worked.”

Knight, who’s from New Zealand, also offered a theory for why Mancuso thrives at the Winter Games.

“She loves peaking for the big events. I mean, America doesn’t know what’s going on outside of the Olympics, right?” he said.

After Mancuso’s strong downhill Monday morning gave her a nearly half-second lead on the field, she still had to deal with a steep slalom course, one that nine of 31 starters failed to complete in the afternoon. No small matter, given that it had been more than a year since she completed a full slalom.

And the last time she raced such a challenging slalom?

“It’s been a while,” U.S. women’s coach Alex Hoedlmoser said with a laugh.

But with the lights along the Rosa Khutor course gleaming off her neon orange helmet, and a gold scarf tucked under her chin, Mancuso was good enough to sneak into the medals, 0.13 behind silver winner Nicole Hosp of Austria, and 0.10 ahead of fourth-place finisher Tina Maze of Slovenia, last season’s overall World Cup champion.

“It’s really inspiring,” U.S. teammate Leanne Smith said, “for everyone here to see how much of a gamer she is, every Olympics.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
SPT 072614 TOM JONES LEADER.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

Local Interest
SPT 072614 TOM JONES LEADER.jpg

Tribune-Star/Bob PoynterLeader: Tom Jones is leading going into Sunday's final round of the Men's City Championship at Hulman Links on Sunday.

High School
College
Sports Columns
Pro Sports
SPT 072314 PHEGLEY LINE.jpg

It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Terre Haute Rex
Colts
Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Video Shows Smiling American Bomber in Syria Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Maine Police Investigate Deaths of Family of 5
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News