Mikaela Shiffrin warned she wants to prove that her maiden World Cup downhill win in Lake Louise was no fluke as she challenges speed queen Lindsey Vonn in Saturday's second downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo.
"I know what I'm capable of". "No matter what happens from here to the Olympics I'll be confident". "It just depends on how I feel". I'm just skiing like normal and I'm back to normal.
She got off to a slow start, trailing in 13th in the first downhill training run in the Italian Dolomites this week, but moved up to fifth in the second training run before her third in the race.
"I'm really happy", Vonn said in the post-race news conference.
"Skiing is fun first and foremost and I hope that my career can inspire others to just have fun, especially as an underdog", Mancuso said after wiping away tears.
Wiles, 25, qualified for her second straight Olympic team after bursting onto the U.S. Ski Team in by winning the U.S. downhill title at Copper Mountain in Colorado in 2013 and 2014.
She had a hard start to the season with two crashes in Lake Louise, Alberta, then jarred her back in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Vonn clocked 129.8 kph (80 mph) in the schuss, an imposing and narrow chute between two huge rock outcrops on the top section of the course. It was a attractive day, flawless Cortina sunshine, ideal conditions. "I'm going to be trying to get as many wins as possible", Vonn said.
It's only fitting that Wiles land on the same podium as Vonn - in December 2015, Wiles was selected by Vonn as the first-ever athlete ambassador for her foundation, meaning Vonn would help fund Wiles as she continued racing and following her dreams, while Wiles would in turn spread the organization's message. "This is what I've been working for for the last eight years", said Vonn, who missed the 2014 Sochi Games due to a series of knee injuries. I've been waiting for these Olympics for 8 years so being healthy is my #1 priority. "So I think that once I find a setup that's a little bit better for icier conditions just in case then I'll be ready for any condition in Pyeongchang". "It's all or nothing in Korea".
In the finish area, Lindsey Vonn and teammates sprayed Mancuso with champagne and carried her on their shoulders while the crowd cheered "Julia, Julia".
"I learned a lot, to be aggressive and I can use that tomorrow", she added.
Aiming to save her best for the February 21 downhill at the Pyeongchang Olympics, Vonn has had only one win this season a super-G in Val d'Isere, France, more than a month ago.
"She (Vonn) made me dream in Vancouver".
"She's done a lot for my career and she gave me an incredible course report and pumped me up through the radio before my run", Wiles said.
Maria Sharapova pumped for Angelique Kerber Australian Open meeting
It looked like a quick outing for the fourth seed Alexander Zverev after winning the first set 6-1 but things changed after that. Sharapova's aggressive service return will come in handy, as Sevastova's serve - particularly her second - is vulnerable.