As we near the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, US Olympic Alpine Ski Racer Julia Mancuso shows she is up for any challenge, even if that means surfing the Black Sea. In 2006, Mancuso won the Gold in the Slalom in her Olympic debut. 4 year later she won a Silver in both the Downhill and Combined. Fast forward to last week in Sochi and she had just won her fourth career Olympic medal, a record for Women's Alpine Olympic Skiing.
What does Mancuso do after her Bronze Medal Ceremony in Sochi? She Gets barreled!
After searching out a local surfboard shaper and borrowing a wetsuit, she was eager to find some waves. Surfing is nothing foreign to Mancuso. She has a deep connection to the Ocean. Splitting time between Hawaii and Squaw Valley, she uses the ocean to challenge herself in trainings. Some of her favorite cross training comes from surfing, Paddle-boarding, and underwater workouts. "Getting into underwater training has helped a lot with mental training… you have to really know your limits and then believe you can push yourself to that limit" (CBS).
I recently watched a documentary by surf photographer Chris Burkard called 'Russia'. A short film about a group of professional surfers highlighting their adventure to seek unridden waves on one of the most remote coastlines in the world. Their adventures lead the viewers to the realization that there are ridable waves in Russia and it's freakin freezing cold.
Why do these athletes put themselves in these harsh, unbearable conditions?
Surfing is addicting. When there are waves, we are paddling out. There is also a sense of adventure a natural challenge when surfing a remote or new location. The ocean presents a new challenge every time you experience it, it makes many of us perform better at what we do. Though Mancuso finished her competition in Sochi, she looks at surfing the Black Sea as another challenge, increasing mental strength, and preparing for her major competition.
Inspiring stuff Julia! Stay Barreled.