Julia Mancuso’s Sochi run ends, says ‘we’ll see’ about returning in 2018

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The giant slalom isn’t Julia Mancuso’s specialty, but it’s also her last event in Sochi, so there was hope for a strong swan song. Instead, she wasn’t able to finish the first run on a course that grew increasingly challenging due to rain.

The 29-year-old struggled later in Sochi, but also enjoyed an impressive run to bronze in the super-combined. With that in mind, she gave an open-ended answer about competing in 2018.

While this could be something of an ending for Mancuso, it also represented a beginning for U.S. skiing in Mikaela Shiffrin’s Olympic debut. She performed solidly, finishing fifth in the first run, .91 seconds behind Slovenia’s Tina Maze.

Also ahead of Shiffrin: Sweden’s Jessica Lindell-Vikarby, Italy’s Nadia Fanchini and Austria’s Anna Fenninger.

This isn’t Shiffrin’s top event, but it appears that she might have a shot at a medal. If nothing else, the 18-year-old is off to a solid start … right as Mancuso ponders the possibility that this may be the end.