It's hard to believe that it has already been almost four years since the Torino games of 2006. I can recall when the USA woman's Alpine skiing team was ready to compete and the famed American skier Picabo Street said flatly that she was unimpressed by the immaturity of the no-name American team. Shortly thereafter, twenty-one year old Julia Mancuso from Reno won the gold in the Giant slalom. The Italian fans responded by cheering for "Mancuso."
In the following several years since then, Julia has not lived up to her performance in Torino. It should be interesting to see if she responds well as she did last time to the big event. Some athletes do their best when everything is on the line. It's the same concept as someone who is a great performer in practice, but can't seem to duplicate it when it counts; while other athletes are the exact opposite, rising to the occasion. Of course, she's only twenty-five, and has struggled with injuries.
Interestingly, in 2009, American skier Lindsey Vonn, from St. Paul, has exploded onto the scene with two gold metals in Val d'Isère (Downhill & Super-G). She appears to be the best woman's American skier now. She is also twenty-five.
Alpine people in Italy always have a good showing in the winter games. There are also heavy mountains in other parts of the peninsula as well.
The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics will take place from February 12-28, and will be aired on NBC.
Julia Mancuso, 2006 Olympic gold medalist in Torino (Giant slalom), from Reno, Nevada.
Lindsey Vonn, 2009 double gold medalist in Val d'Isère (Downhill & Super-G), from St. Paul, Minnesota.
Lindsey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, who's hotter?