KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — When things were not going all that well for Julia Mancuso during pre-Olympic races a few months ago, she was fairly certain these would be her last Winter Games.
After one bronze medal — and some inspiration from 36-year-old U.S. teammate Bode Miller — Mancuso wouldn't rule out giving it another try at the next Olympics in 2018, when she'll be 33.
Mancuso, a four-time Olympic medalist, closed her Sochi Games on Tuesday by failing to finish the first leg of a rain-soaked giant slalom. She won the gold in that event in 2006, a pair of silvers in 2010, and a bronze in the super-combined this time. No other U.S. woman has won more than two Alpine medals.
"At the beginning of the season, I felt like there was no way I would come back," Mancuso said Tuesday.
"But after coming here and kind of having that magical day," she continued, referring to her medal last week, "it makes me want to keep going. And watching Bode win another medal and have killer downhill training runs, and be so close there, that inspired me. So who says what's a good age? Just got to go for it. And I love to ski, so we'll see."
The only women's event left on the Sochi skiing schedule is the slalom, and the U.S. team said Mancuso won't enter that race.
Following the giant slalom. Mancuso tweeted: "That's a wrap for me here in Sochi. It's been inspiring! Thanks for all the support and Love! #GoUSA!!! Now I get to celebrate my Bronze!!!"
Mancuso skied out fewer than 10 gates from the end of the GS, bothered in part by tough visibility after splashing water from a puddle onto her goggles.
"I couldn't see much. ... I was just thinking, 'OK, now I've got to just go with feeling,'" Mancuso said.