Mancuso looking for another big year

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

COPPER MOUNTAIN – Julia Mancuso takes a different approach to her training. While some of her teammates may be a little cautious when the weather gets rough – like Tuesday morning’s session at Copper Mountain – Mancuso doesn’t think about crashing, and she definitely doesn’t think about slowing down.

“That’s not something I worry about. I just kind of go for it,” she said. “For me, it’s like the more aggressive I am, the more balanced I am. When I take my foot off the gas a little is when I start to get out of balance. … I try to push really hard.”

This season will be no different.

After what some may perceive as a comeback surge a year ago, Mancuso said she’s more excited about the season ahead rather than what she’s accomplished in the past.

“It’s been a couple years that I’ve been dealing with injuries, and it’s nice going into this one feeling healthy,” she said. “I’m feeling really good.”

For parts of the last two seasons, Mancuso struggled with back issues and hadn’t made a World Cup podium in nearly two years when she sprung for two silver medals at the Vancouver Games. She then rode the momentum to a podium finish in a WC super-G race.

Now she feels she’s back to the form that led to a gold in giant slalom in the 2006 Olympics, along with a number of WC wins.

“I just want to get on the podium a lot,” Mancuso said. “I only had one World Cup podium last year. My goal is to get in there and also get back in the top-seven in GS, I guess.”

A big focus this season is on the World Championships, held February in Germany.

Mancuso, who holds he U.S. record for Olympic women’s alpine medals, has two career World Championships medals.

She’s hoping for more, and her early season training in Colorado is all a part of the process.

The snow swirled and built up on the course Tuesday morning at Copper, but as Mancuso wrapped up her runs, she had only one thing on her mind.

“It’s definitely time to start looking at going as fast as you can,” she said.

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