Julia Mancuso, called by her friends “Super Jules,” was named to the US ski team in 1999 when only 15. She struggled on the main World Cup circuit for several years, but starred at the Junior World Championships, winning five golds, and eight medals, in 2002, 2003, and 2004. At the 2005 World Championships she broke thru on the senior circuit, winning bronze medals in the Super-G and giant slalom. Although she had never won a World Cup race prior to the Torino Winter Olympics, she came thru there for the giant slalom gold medal. She won her first World Cup race, a downhill in Val d’Isère, France, in December 2006. Her 2006-07 season was top-notch, winning four World Cup races, and a silver in the Super Combined at the World Championships. She was third in the overall World Cup for the 2006-07 season, and was second in the World Cup downhill and combined. After winning her 2006 Olympic gold medal in 2006, Squaw Valley Ski Resort named one of their runs after her, "Julia's Gold."
Mancuso’s father, Ciro Mancuso, was a Nevada-based drug dealer who had built one of the largest domestic drug cartels in US history. Arrested in 1995, he turned state’s evidence for a reduced sentence, and he was in Torino in 2006, cheering on his daughter to victory, waving a “Super Jules” flag. He and Julia have remained close and she credits him with helping her career a great deal.
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