Death of CR Johnson reminds Julia Mancuso why she skis

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 26, 2010 12:52 pm

The last few days have been wrought with some heavy emotion for Olympic champion ski racer Julia Mancuso. On Wednesday, she was dealt a bad hand of cards when her first giant slalom run was interrupted by Lindsey Vonn’s crash. Then, right before her second run on Thursday, she learned of the death of CR Johnson. They were of similar ages and both grew up in Squaw Valley.

She was able to produce the day’s third fastest run after finding a “hidden piece of energy” from the tragic news. Many would crumble at the news and fail to perform. Not Julia. “I really had nothing to lose”, she explained. “Coming here today [Thursday] for me, after everything yesterday, was just like, ‘Go out there and love skiing,’” she said, between taking a pause to wipe away tears and gather herself. “I’m so proud to be from a place, Squaw Valley, and there are so many incredible skiers from there, and it’s been a rough couple of years.”

Julia was friends with CR as well as Shane McConkey. “Just two guys going out and living their dream and pushing their limits,” Mancuso said. “Skiing is not a safe sport all the time, especially when you want to push it. But it’s fun, it’s a lot of fun. And I love it.”