A Conversation with Olympic Medalist Julia Mancuso

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2013

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 24:  Alpine skier Julia Mancuso poses for a portrait during the USOC Portrait Shoot on April 24, 2013 in West Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

If there's one thing every athlete dreams about, it's becoming an Olympian and representing his or her country.

But why should athletes have all the fun?

I was able to sit down with Julia and get her take on a few things, including how she's preparing for the Olympics, what she does in her free time and why choosing a celebrity to party with is harder than landing a medal at the Olympics.

Image via Julia Mancuso

Bleacher Report: Do you like all the attention you get for being regularly featured on "Hottest Athletes" Lists?

Julia Mancuso: I think it's a lot of fun. Being an athlete is like everyone's dream job, so it's awesome that we get to travel the world and do a few other things outside of the sport.


B/R: How are you preparing for the Olympics?

JM: Our race season starts in a month, so it's kind of just that time of year. I'm amping up for the upcoming season, you know, with just one month off until it starts.

I've been training and getting ready for a race every weekend, pretty much.

Being healthy, and giving one last push before it begins.


B/R: What do you need to do to get back on top of the podium at the Olympics?

JM: Well my best event right now is one that I haven't medaled in yet—Super G—so that's what I'm really aiming for.

It's still really hard to win a race, so I'm looking forward to competing in the Olympics, and I definitely have a chance to win that one.

It takes a lot of confidence and risk-taking to win, so I just need to go out there and do my best.


B/R: What is the Olympics experience like?

JM: It's really busy without a lot of downtime to enjoy stuff like the village or other events, but it's amazing to go out there and compete for your country.

There are a lot more people, are a lot more fans, and there's a lot of exciting stuff that's going on around it.

It is awesome to see the other athletes compete—regardless of the sport—for their country too.

You get inspired from the feeling of some of the other athletes, and really feel the pride of being from America.

Mar 15, 2012; Schladming, AUSTRIA; Julia Mancuso (USA) celebrates on the podium after the super G race at the FIS World Cup in Schladming.  Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports
Mitchell Gunn-USA TODAY Sports

B/R: What do you do when not skiing?

JM: The summer for me is about getting stronger.

I do spend a lot of time outside, playing other sports. I like to go out and surf, swim and just stay active in the water.

I lived in Maui for a while, so I did a lot of my workouts outside and on the beach.

When I'm home, I do a lot of mountain biking and hiking to get really fit.

What's cool about skiing is that it's a really athletic sport. Doing everything I do helps my muscles stay in shape for when I'm on the slopes.


B/R: You mentioned surfing, any chance we see you pull a Shaun White and compete in multiple winter and summer sports?

JM: (laughing) No, no, I have a long way to go. I unfortunately don't have enough time, but I wish, that would be fun.


B/R: Is it tough to balance personal time and training time?

JM: In the summer is really the only time that I don't have to completely think about skiing all the time. And it's good for me because the training I do in the summer isn't necessarily for be to become a better skier but just because I like staying in shape and like working out.


B/R: How important is it to connect with your fans?

JM: That's the coolest thing about the Internet and social media right now is being able to connect with my fans, and I believe that it's a big part of being an athlete.

It's pretty cool being able to share my success with fans.

The contest with ZICO is just one of those things where fans have a chance to come to the Olympics, and giving them a once-in-a-lifetime experience like that is something that I find to be really fulfilling.


B/R: Can you talk about your desire to work with the non-profits that you do?

JM: It's all about giving back to my fans, and sharing part of my success with them. There are a lot of people who have made sacrifices for me, so being able to give a little back is cool. You know, pay it forward.

I work with people and foundations that I really believe in, so it's really cool to do something I believe in.

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - MARCH 03: (FRANCE OUT) Julia Mancuso of the USA takes 3rd place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's SuperG on March 03, 2013 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Ima
Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

B/R: OK, so let's do some rapid fire questions.

Proudest accomplishment?

JM: My gold medal.

Biggest regret?

JM: (laughing) Oh man, I don't regret things.

The most famous person you've ever met?

JM: Paul McCartney.

The place you always look forward to going?

JM: The ocean.

The celebrity you'd most like to party with?

JM: (laughing) Oh man, that's hard…oh wow. I would want them to be fun. I don't know, is that bad?


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