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Julia Mancuso follows up with two silvers in 2010

After winning a gold medal in Turin four years previously, Julia Mancuso followed up with two silvers in 2010. Her achievements in Vancouver were arguably even greater than her Italian victory, given that her skiing had been blighted by injury during the previous two seasons. Many people had doubted her ability to even compete in Canada, all of which made her brace of silver medals a significant triumph. Moreover, by increasing her overall medal tally to three, she became the USA’s most success female Alpine skier on the Olympic stage.

Mancuso’s injury problems started soon after Turin 2006. She had to undergo surgery on her right hip to remove a bone spur and needed several months to recover. Then in 2008 she faced even bigger injury woes, when she suffered a problem with her back that was to affect her performances for the next two seasons.

Known as “Super Jules”, Mancuso has an iron will, and the prospect of competing on the Olympic stage seems to inspire her. Her gold medal in 2006 had brought her fame and the honour of having a run at Squaw Valley named after her. In Vancouver, she channelled all of her frustrations into a scintillating display in the downhill, attacking the tough course to finish second behind the all-conquering Lindsey Vonn. The following day she picked up her second silver in the combined, finishing behind Maria Riesch but ahead of Vonn, who lost a ski as she hit a gate on her final run.

Back in 2005, Mancuso had been presented with a plastic tiara as a good luck charm, and she donned it at each of her medal ceremonies in Vancouver.

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