Raised on the slopes of Squaw Valley USA, skier Julia Mancuso has three Olympic medals (more than any other American female alpine skier) and a fistful of World Championship and World Cup podium finishes to her name. When not flying down a snow-covered mountain, “Super Jules,” as she is known to her fellow U.S. Ski Team members, family, friends and fans, splits her time between Olympic Valley and Maui.
What are your first memories of skiing?
My very first vivid memory of skiing was with the Mighty Mites at Squaw Valley USA, in a giant snowstorm, and being picked out of the shoulder-deep snow by our coach. I have so many memories of skiing with that program, chasing our coaches around and having lots of fun.
What are your thoughts when you step into the starting gate?
I try to clear my mind and think of having fun! I perform best when I just let it flow. That’s where preparation plays such a huge part: The more prepared I am, the more relaxed I feel when I leave the starting gate.
How does it feel to be up on the Olympic winner’s podium?
It’s like standing in front of the world with the world smiling back at you. It’s knowing that you did your very best. It’s pride that you represent the USA, and pride to represent all your loved ones and everyone that has ever touched a moment of your life.
How do you describe Tahoe to your friends and colleagues around the world?
I start with that it’s the best place in the world to ski. Then, to be more specific, that it’s always sunny when it’s not snowing. That Lake Tahoe is the most beautiful lake in the world, the water is calming, and the people are the friendliest, bringing the true California vibe from the beach to the mountains.
How do you relax?
I like to paint or I might watch a movie on my computer or go the beach, but being busy and on the move is most relaxing to me.
Where do you keep your tiara?
I have many tiaras. I try to never be without one, so I hide them in random places.
Why did you decide to launch a lingerie business?
I race in lucky underwear so I felt the need to spread the love; now everyone can have their own lucky undies!
How are you prepping for the upcoming ski season?
We trained in New Zealand and Chile this summer, and other than the skiing, I spend lots of time in the gym (Mancuso opened Performance JM fitness center in Truckee in March) and riding my bike. I am feeling really strong so I am very excited to get into racing.
Any thoughts on the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014?
We have a race there this season, so I will get to check it out. I love the Olympic atmosphere, so it will be exciting and interesting
to see how that all pans out.
What do you think about the Winter Olympics possibly returning to Tahoe in 2022?
Growing up in Olympic Valley brought me so much pride. Learning about all the history and seeing the old pictures was so inspiring. It would be so great to actually get to live the Olympics, experience it firsthand right here at home. It might also mean a comeback for me: I will be 38—that’s not too old, right? By Susan D. Rock. TQ
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