Julia Mancuso, the 29-year-old Olympic gold medalist in skiing, spoke to CBS News recently and said that she has finally discovered that for her, skiing is “99% mental,” a determination that will, hopefully, result in another gold medal for the World Cup alpine ski racer.
Mancuso came to her newfound conclusion after a disappointing season last year, claiming not a single top-10 spot in her World Cup season. According to Mancuso, pitfalls involving her equipment, as well as lagging race times, caused her lackluster performances.
Now, heading to Sochi, she is back in tip-top shape, having secured both her equipment and professional status by making the top-10 in two races in a row in Italy. She also pushed herself to become the fastest skier in World Cup downhill training in January, which she claimed.
Mancuso says that her unique training schedule has played a big part in her climb back to the top, as she doesn’t take time away from her career and training when her competitors do, such as in April, one of the few months in which skiers take time away from their active schedules.
Instead of hitting the couch, however, Mancuso hits the waves – literally. She says that every April, she heads to Maui to practice some alternative forms of training, doing her weight-lifting, sprinting, biking, and paddling all underwater.
“It feels so good on your body,” the Olympian says. “Getting into underwater training has helped a lot with mental training…you have to really know your limits and then believe you can push yourself to that limit.”
Main image courtesy @JuliaMancuso via Twitter.