True Olympian

In my last post, I highlighted the spirit demonstrated by the women’s skeleton racers in the 2006 Torino Olympics.  This is another story of an impressive display of Olympic Spirit – only this one never seems to stop.

Julia Mancuso is one of the most impressive women that I can name.  Not only has she had a long and tenacious career as a world-class ski racer, but she exhibits more life balance than most athletes of her caliber, and is always positive and supportive of her teammates and even competitors.  Perhaps my favorite thing about this young lady is that she appears to be herself, despite being a very public figure.  When she smiles, it isn’t just with her mouth – her eyes are always involved too!  She also shows disappointment, on the few occasions that it is merited, but it always appears to be disappointment with her own performance, not anger or jealousy regarding another person or the situation.

Julia has been tearing up the slopes in Sochi this month, successfully finishing every course she has attempted.  That is more than many Olympic skiers can claim this year.

Here is what Julia had to say on Facebook after coming in 8th in the Super G yesterday:

“Thanks for all the love!!! It’s about dreaming big, and doing your best:) keep believing. I’m happy for @AnnaFenninger She has been ripping it up in Super G the last few years, and she definitely deserves that Gold:)”

Earlier this week, after taking third in the Super-Combined she wrote:

“Today was amazing, inspiring, surreal. Now I can add a Bronze to my collection of Silver and Gold!”

Julia is truly one of those athletes who appreciates the opportunity to compete at the Olympic level, who gives each race everything she has, and who accepts the results gracefully.  She is thrilled to medal (and at four alpine skiing medals in three Olympics, she is the USA’s most decorated female skier), and happy to finish the course.

It’s no wonder that she feels that way – listen to this clip that NBC posted of the excitement surrounding Julia’s runs in the combined.

I don’t typically follow athletes or other celebrities on Facebook (just as I don’t typically write about them in this blog).  I was inspired to “like” Julia’s page  during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, when Lindsay Vonn was being touted by all media outlets as the Team USA female skier to watch.  As Lindsay pouted her way through a couple disappointing finishes, Mancuso won two silvers, and showed nothing but love and support to her Olympic-favorite teammate.  In the four years since then, I’ve enjoyed reading along as Julia’s bubbly enthusiasm,  understated confidence, and whole-hearted love steer her through her life.  She doesn’t stop with just skiing, either – she spends her off-season surfing in Hawaii, is involved in multiple business ventures, and devotes significant time and money to philanthropic causes.  If you’re looking for someone to be inspired by, I’d recommend checking Julia Mancuso out.

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