Julia Mancuso: Smiling all the way to Sochi

Published 8:19 AM ET, Tue January 28, 2014
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Normally U.S. teammates, Julia Mancuso (left) will be the one going for gold in Sochi while the injured Lindsey Vonn (right) will watch at home as a TV correspondent. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Mancuso, who turns 30 in March, has already had an illustrious career. She has won three Olympic medals and another five at the alpine skiing world championships. FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images
(From left to right) Mancuso finished half a second behind Vonn in the women's downhill at the last Olympics in Vancouver, but was a further second quicker than bronze medalist Elisabeth Gorgl. Francis Bompard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
But arguably the highlight of her career to date came four years earlier when she won gold at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Mancuso has endured an up-and-down 2013-14 but insists she has recaptured her best rhythm since returning to her Maui home in Hawaii for a mid-season break. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images
She made her World Cup return to action in the New Year in Austria, and has since registered her first top-10 finishes this season. Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Off the snow, Mancuso designs underwear and has modeled. Asked how to define herself, she said that was impossible with so many strings to her bow. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Mancuso was in a four-year relationship with fellow skier Svindal Aksel Lund until they split in 2013. Here they attend the 2011 wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images/file