Olympic medalist Julia Mancuso traded in her skis for a sports car for a day, taking a helicopter down to Ferrari's factory where she was treated to a personal test ride.
Local officials in Sestriere _ the site of Mancuso's giant slalom victory in the 2006 Turin Games _ invited the Californian down to Maranello earlier this week.
Asked about the experience Saturday, Mancuso says she couldn't pass up "a once in a lifetime opportunity," and related that since the automaker's test track was occupied, a test driver took her out on local roads.
Mancuso is accustomed to whizzing down mountains at speeds in excess of 130 kph (80 mph), but she says the Ferrari "was pretty fast, and the noise was exhilarating. It sounds fast when you're inside."