Julia Mancuso‘s impeccable record of competing (and usually making the podium) at major events will blemish this week.
Mancuso, who owns nine Olympic or World Championships medals, was in Maui while the rest of the world’s best Alpine skiers traveled to Meribel, France, for this week’s World Cup Finals.
She called an early end to her season due to pain in her right hip, a problem area throughout her career that intensified after she fell on her right side in a giant slalom in Are, Sweden, on Dec. 12.
“Since I’m planning on continuing to ski, it’s not worth pushing it,” Mancuso said in a phone interview Monday. “I need to look at the problem a little closer.”
Mancuso, 31, competed at every World Cup Finals, World Championships and Olympics since 2005, racking up the most Alpine medals by a U.S. woman in history and six top-three finishes in World Cup discipline standings.
She plans on competing through the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games, which would be her fifth. No U.S. woman previously competed in five Winter Games.
This season, Mancuso performed well in her first three speed events, finishing in the top seven on three straight days in Lake Louise, Alberta, from Dec. 5-7.
Then came the Are fall, and she’s since finished in the top 10 twice in 10 World Cup races with zero starts in giant slaloms. Her best finish at the World Championships in February in Colorado was ninth in the super-G.
“It’s such a strange kind of injury that it changes every week,” Mancuso said of her hip. “If the season was going longer, I probably could take a week off and get back into it.”