Friday, February 24, 2006

Julia Mancuso – Alpine Gold

I cited Picabo Street in a previous post as one of my symbols of the Winter Games, only to have her show up on TV tonight tearing into Julia Mancuso, of the U.S. women’s alpine team. Picabo called her unprofessional, and felt she needed to do a lot of growing up. Picabo didn’t appreciate that Julia had skied an earlier race wearing a tiara. A tiara? I’m not a sports psychologist, but I can see how that could be a trouble sign. Earlier today Picabo Street had some advice for the young Californian: “Lose the tiara.”
I saw one interview prior to the first run and Julia sounded high maintenance, but watching her in super-slow motion bombing down the course, you had to admire the artistry and the courage. I don’t know if she took Picabo’s advice but for this giant slalom race anyway the tiara was replaced with a white helmet. I also appreciated the lack of a sentimental back story about a sick relative. Her past includes a father arrested for a 120-million-dollar marijuana smuggling operation that brought an estimated 67 tons of pot into the country. He served 5 years.
I’m watching on tape delay and Julia aced the first run. They just interviewed her and I’m starting to get it: Steely eyes - she even got off a nice smile. Apparently, she’s never led after the first run, and looking ahead to the next she said, “I’m going to have to try to stay calm and rip it up.” Nice quote.
They’re showing the second run now and the course looks more fogged in than Julia’s dad.
These women are showing some amazing courage rocketing through this mist. One just took a fall that would have killed most of us. The weather is becoming a big part of the story. On to Julia’s run.
Well, it’s official: We have another gold medal US woman skier joining the likes of Debbie Armstrong and Picabo Street. Don’t worry, Picabo, this doesn’t change a thing between us. I still think the world of you, kid. Seriously, is there a more all-American girl than Picabo Street anywhere? She just seems like an extremely solid individual to me.
But we have a new skiing star now: Julia Mancuso. Afterwards her serviceman boyfriend skied down the course wearing only black underwear and it was time to call it an event. Later she posed with her gold medal - the tiara firmly back on her head.


At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding? Picabo Street came across as a loud-mouthed, bitter, moron for ripping into Mancuso the day before Mancuso won the gold medal. mancuso's run proved how pathetically idiotic Street appeared to the United States on the Today show in putting down a fellow American skiier instead of supporting her, and the day before Mancuso shut her up by taking over the title of best skier in the world.

Picabo Street proved beyond a doubt how little she knows about the sport she dominated for a short time herself. She is loud, brash, interrupts her interviewers, uses clichés to express herself - she clearly doesn't think before she opens her mouth.

Perhaps she ripped on Mancuso because her own favorite U.S. skier and close friend, Lindsey Kildow, had injured herself earlier in the games and failed to come close in medaling even though she was a projected favorite by sports analysts. Kildow and Mancuso have long been intense competitors -- Kildow consistently showing emotion and aggravation when she doesn't do well, and Mancuso displaying a relaxed and mellow, funny and amiable nature throughout her career.

Street came across as bitter and ignorant - as Julia Mancuso proved with her gold medal finish in the Giant Slalom the day following Street's sudden insult-fest on national television -- in the very same race that Picabo Street won herself. Ironically, Street was many years older in age at the time she won her gold than Mancuso is today. NBC needs to find better correspondent material.


At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 4:34 PM, Anonymous rakeback said...

Lindsey and Julia are talented and beautiful women. I enjoyed watching the coverage of the races, and glad to see them both take home medals.


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