Mancuso not ruling out 2018 as a possibility |

Mancuso not ruling out 2018 as a possibility

Howard Fendrich
AP Sports Writer
United States' Julia Mancuso reacts after skiing out of the first run of the women's giant slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — When things were not going all that well for Julia Mancuso during pre-Olympic races a few months ago, she was fairly certain these would be her last Winter Games.

After one bronze medal — and some inspiration from 36-year-old U.S. teammate Bode Miller — Mancuso wouldn’t rule out giving it another try at the next Olympics in 2018, when she’ll be 33.

Mancuso, a four-time Olympic medalist, closed her Sochi Games on Tuesday by failing to finish the first leg of a rain-soaked giant slalom. She won the gold in that event in 2006, a pair of silvers in 2010, and a bronze in the super-combined this time. No other U.S. woman has won more than two Alpine medals.

“At the beginning of the season, I felt like there was no way I would come back,” Mancuso said Tuesday.

“But after coming here and kind of having that magical day,” she continued, referring to her medal last week, “it makes me want to keep going. And watching Bode win another medal and have killer downhill training runs, and be so close there, that inspired me. So who says what’s a good age? Just got to go for it. And I love to ski, so we’ll see.”

“Being here and kind of coming back from not a great season kind of put things in perspective for me about what skiing’s about,” said Mancuso, who lives in Squaw Valley. “And coming into these Olympics, I really wanted a medal and I got a bronze.”

As for four years from now, she said it remains a possibility, “if I can continue skiing well, especially on the speed side and get to a place where I can still be fighting for gold medals.”