Mancuso medals again

Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:33am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Just before setting off for Monday's Olympic super-combined event, Julia Mancuso received a message from the U.S. team media officer telling her to bring podium clothes because she was going to need them.

The skier, who has not stood on a podium in the World Cup since March last year, decided instead to leave them packed and ready in her room, telling herself: "You know, I'm not going to bring them but I know I'm going to get a medal."

The most successful U.S. female Olympic Alpine skier of all time should have listened to her team.

By the end of the day, after setting the fastest time in the downhill leg and then battling down a tricky slalom hill that claimed several other top names, she was heading off down the mountain to collect a bronze medal.

In the process, the 29-year-old became the first American woman to stand on an Alpine podium at three successive Olympics and completed her set of gold, silver and bronze with the fourth medal of her career.

She also proved the power of positive thinking.

"It's been a really tough season for me and I've always just had that real belief that I can do it," she told reporters after wild celebrations at the finish.

"For me it's putting out these dreams and beliefs that I can come in here and get a medal and everyone being a little skeptical and just knowing in my heart that I can do it.   Continued...

Third-placed Julia Mancuso of the U.S. celebrates with a U.S. flag during the flower ceremony after the women's alpine skiing super combined event during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 10, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger