United States' Julia Mancuso Wins Bronze Medal In Alpine Skiing At Sochi

United States' Julia Mancuso won the bronze medal in alpine skiing women's super combined at the Sochi Winter Games on Monday.

The veteran American skier lived up to her reputation and came through for the United States in a big international competition when her team needed her the most.

The 29-year-old's performance makes her a favorite for Wednesday's downhill where she will attempt to match her fellow American, Bode Miller's five Olympic medals.

Following the race, the United States bronze medalist said:

"I skied my heart out. That was really tough. It was a really, really difficult slalom run. I knew I just had to give my best shot. It sure didn't' feel good. I definitely had moments in my mind where I was thinking this is not going to be good enough. Keep fighting. And I knew where to let it run on that last pitch and surprise looked up and got a medal."
On Monday, the site of the super combined saw mild temperatures, similar to those Julia Mancuso is used to skiing in at home in Squaw Valley, California where the 1960 Winter Olympics took place.The two run race saw the United States skier finish with the fastest time in the morning, and she was able to hold on later on in the day to capture the bronze medal.

Julia Mancuso is the most decorated female Olympic alpine skier in United States history and only four other women have won more medals than her four, Janica Kostelic (Croatia) and Anja Paerson (Sweden) with six, and Vreni Schneider (Switzerland) and Katja Seizinger (Germany) with five.

The American joins speedskaters Bonnie Blair and Apolo Ohno as the only American Olympians to win individual medals at three Winter Games.

Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany -- the Vancouver gold medalist -- finished in first place with a combined time of two minutes, 34.62 seconds. The silver medal went to Nicole Hosp of Austria, four tenths of a second behind. Julia Mancuso finished 0.53 seconds behind Hoefl-Riesch for the United States.

[Image via Twitter]