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Mancuso trades in her skis for a Ferrari

Mancuso trades in her skis for a Ferrari

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.
Mancuso is accustomed to whizzing down mountains at speeds in excess of 130 kph (80 mph), but she called this a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
"I was a test passenger," Mancuso said. "The track was occupied, so we went out on the mountain roads. And I'm a pretty good driver, but I don't think I would really trust myself with that nice of a car to drive it and have to dodge traffic, so I left that to the professional. It was pretty fast, and the noise was exhilarating _ it sounds fast when you're inside."
U.S. women's head coach Alex Hoedlmoser and teammate Leanne Smith joined Mancuso for the visit. Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn couldn't go because she's sponsored by Audi.
The helicopter ride lasted about 90 minutes each way.
"I didn't realize that it was so far away," said Mancuso, who is popular in Italy for her Italian roots. "I got a nice tour of Italy on the helicopter ride, so it was pretty fun."
Mancuso is in Sestriere for downhill and super-combined races but an ongoing snowstorm and thick fog have delayed racing for two days, with the downhill postponed to Sunday and the super-combined to be run perhaps on Monday.
Mancuso finished second in the downhill in Cortina last weekend, but she is still seeking her first victory in four years. Besides her visit to the Ferrari factory Wednesday, she's been training slalom all week.
"I definitely feel like my races haven't reflected the training, so I'm looking forward to finally getting a result," she said. "It gives me confidence in the combined."


Updated : 2021-06-22 03:59 GMT+08:00