While many US Ski Team members feel blessed to have the facilities and support systems offered by the US Ski Team’s headquarters in Park City, one professional ski racer has gone so far as creating a crowdfunding page to bypass Utah in favor of doing her rehab in Hawaii. That skier is Julia Mancuso.
After struggling with nagging ski-related hip pain over the past few years, Mancuso has exhausted multiple types of physical therapy before realizing that such treatments fell just short of fixing the problem. This year, the four-time olympian took a different path. At the beginning of the season, Mancuso decided to undergo hip surgery with hopes of fixing the problem in preparation for the 2018 winter olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
After the surgery, Mancuso opted out of the US Ski Team sponsored rehabilitation program in Park City to pursue a more individualized version of PT on the sunny shores of Hawaii. The move, which is supported by some and looked down upon by others, has brought Mancuso over $16,000 to a crowdfunding page, titled “Support Team Jules for her push to the 2018 Olympics.”
But why not use the US Ski Team facilities free of charge?
Mancuso cites the fact that she’s been working with health professionals outside the US Ski Team sponsored HQ long before her career took off. She also indicated that the individualized care is an important building block in her overall health plan, which includes a return to ski racing this upcoming summer.
“It’s really nice to be in Hawaii, where I can be outside and kind of get in the ocean– in the water, it’s very healing.”– Julia Mancuso
In an interview with ski-racing.com, Mancuso elaborated on her decision to rehab in Hawaii saying, “It’s more important to stay in one place and really take advantage of the healing and relaxation.” Traditionally, injured US Ski Team members find themselves traveling between the Steadman Clinic in Vail and the Park City “Center Of Excellence,” which she believes amounts to unnecessary and strenuous travel for athletes. When asked about her reasoning to complete her rehabilitation in Hawaii she said, “I’m 31 years old and I’ve been traveling for 15 years so being able to be home and do my rehab is a big part of the mental game.”
However, to an outsider it might seem a bit uneccesary for Mancuso to bypass free, top-notch physical therapy at the US Ski Team Rehab HQ in Park City and instead take on others money in order to execute individualized treatment in Hawaii. While the initial $10k went to her own PT expenses, the excess of her $10k crowdfunding goal will go to US Ski Team member, Leanne Smith, who is undergoing rehabilitation for a knee injury.
Find the entire Ski-racing.com article here: Julia Mancuso’s $10,000 Crowdfunding Campaign Raises Questions