Now here’s some inspiration for you all.
Meet Julia Mancuso, the Olympic champion you’d want to have a beer with. The 29-year-old Lake Tahoe native tops OUTSIDE’s Editors’ Choice Awards 2014 as the No. 1 Most Perfect Thing, and graces the cover of the February 2014 issue, in a photo shoot by Carlos Serrao. The issue hits newsstands January 14th.
An exclusive interview with OUTSIDE reveals that the 3-time Olympic medalist (1 gold; 2 silver) trains for skiing by surfing and paddleboarding; she gives the appearance of playing fast and loose, but she is driven and focused-just not in the traditional way. The piece covers what motivates her: “When I started, we weren’t wearing our race suits to training. We didn’t have concepts like the 10,000 hours” – an idea, which has gained popularity among overbearing sports parents, that it takes that long to master a skill. “I was just self-motivated. Nobody ever told me what to do.” With Lindsey Vonn out, the Olympic lights will shine bright on Julia, a perennial underdog who always seems to come home draped with medals. (“I don’t really have any doubts that I’ll be on the podium.”)
“When it comes to the Olympics, Julia is the best athlete that’s ever come out of the U.S. Women’s Ski Team,” said OUTSIDE Senior Editor Grayson Schaffer.
On her rivalry with Lindsey Vonn:
“If it was anything, it was just girl stuff . Me saying ‘I’m so free!’ and her rolling her eyes.”
On growing up surrounded by legends like action-sports star Shane McConkey, who made his name (and died) BASE-jumping on skis:
“You grow up in Squaw, where the cool people are the ones breaking rules-like Shane McConkey. How can you grow up thinking that skiing is super serious when there’s this guy pushing the limits on every level?”
On her family, which includes her father, who spent four years in federal prison running a $140 million drug-smuggling operation:
“I have a really good family and a lot of support around me.”
On her skiing career after Sochi, despite the fact that no woman has ever won a World Cup race after age 32:
“I think I’ll keep going.”