The Winter Olympics are just around the corner and one of America’s best chances for ski racing gold is still Julia Mancuso, the 25-year-old tiara-clad California girl who nabbed gold in the giant slalom at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. Sure, the spotlight has been on her teammate Lindsey Vonn but don’t forget to ring your cowbells for “Jules.” Here are five things you should know about her, plus some video of her surfing and camping in Maui.
1. She travels the World Cup circuit in an RV with six bunkbeds, a flatscreen tv, a yoga mat, a stationary bike, a kitchen, and tied-dyed sarongs on the walls (she has called her RV a “little hippie paradise”).
2. She spends her summers in Maui surfing and stand-up paddle boarding (see video below).
3. The Swedish helmet company Poc created a Julia Mancuso Signature Edition helmet and goggles set just for the gold medal winner, and you can sign up to win your own. Find out more info and sign up here.
4. In 2008, she climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for Right to Play, an organization that supports unprivileged children.
5. At age nine in her Squaw Valley Ski Team lockerroom, she drew herself onto a poster of Olympic champion Tommy Moe and wrote, “Julia Mancuso, three-time Olympic gold medalist.” Which means, as she once told Skiing, “I have a couple more to get.”