It’s been a long journey, coming off a back injury for 2006 USA Giant Slalom Gold Medal defender Julia Mancuso. To prepare Julia to win at the 2010 Winter Olympics she and her coaches developed a unique hybrid cross training program that included Plyometrics, Proprioceptive and Pilates core exercise. Before the race she said “Everything has been working really well.” “I believed I can ski fast…..it’s all or nothing.”
Her dedication and unique training paid off. Julia Mancuso flashed to the front of the pack in the Women’s GS posting the fastest time of the day. On top of the course, standing in the gate was her teammate, the favorite and long time rival Lindsey Vonn, preparing for her run at the gold.
Thomas Vonn — Lindsey’s husband, a former Olympic skier who serves as a coach and adviser to his wife, radioed his wife and told her ” You have to attack top to bottom and ski a perfect run to top Mancuso’s performance and win”.
Lindsey had the weight of the world on her shoulders but it was her time in the sun. She rose to the occasion, skied the race of her life and won the downhill in 1 minute, 44.19 seconds — more than a half-second quicker than anyone else — to collect her first career Gold Olympic medal. After the race her coach said “That was one of the most clutch runs I’ve ever seen.”
It’s the first downhill gold for an American woman and Vonn, combined with Julia Mancuso, gave the United States its first 1-2 finish in an Olympic Alpine event since 1984.
Together, at 25 years old, they would stand as the best in the world….Living Large.
Mancuso went on to win the silver in the Super-Combined…. the first time since Gretchen Fraser got silver at the 1948 St. Moritz Games. That makes Mancuso the most decorated female skier in U.S. Olympic history.
How does she train to be the best she can be?
Mancuso incorporates a daily Pilates workout while on the road. The Peak Pilates MVe® Chair was chosen for Mancuso, as it is easy to maneuver from one event location to another while still offering a perfect classical Pilates equipment piece for a total Pilates workout.
Mancuso’s personal coach is Kazuko Ikeda, a former ski racer herself. Ikeda is also an educated Pilates trainer in her native Japan. Ikeda is trained as a Pilates teacher from Metropolitan Pilates in Seattle, Washington.
In-season, Mancuso says, she thrives on speed. In the off season, she thrives on maintaining good health and being outdoors. So she has incorporated time in the water into her regular workout routine. “She works so hard,” Ikeda said, “but she wants to figure out how to have fun when she’s doing it.”
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