Most decorated U.S. women's skier Julia Mancuso announces retirement

Sporting News
As recent as last Sunday, Julia Mancuso still had hopes of making the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Most decorated U.S. women's skier Julia Mancuso announces retirement

As recent as last Sunday, Julia Mancuso still had hopes of making the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

The most decorated female skier in U.S. history announced her retirement from the sport just weeks before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

As recent as Sunday, she was still hopeful she would be able to qualify for her fifth Olympics as she tweeted at a downhill race, "I'm not racing. Saving my energy and hoping to have my best races in Cortina!!!! One more week to qualify for the Olympics!"

However, Mancuso has suffered pain from a degenerative right hip injury, which has proven to taken its toll on the 33-year-old forcing her to retire.

“It has been an epic battle with my hip injury, and the past three years I have put everything into returning to competition at the highest level and the goal to reach my fifth Olympic Games," Mancuso said in a statement.

"There have been really promising days during this challenging process, and I have kept my spirits up despite many who questioned or doubted me."

The decision marks the end of a very successful career as she has won more Olympic medals than any American woman in alpine skiing (4) and is tied with Lindsey Vonn for most global championship medals won by an American (9).

MORE: Lindsey Vonn perseveres to qualify for fourth Winter Olympics despite injuries

“Sadly, I haven’t found the progression to compete with the best in the world again, but I’m proud to have fought until the very end. It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to ski racing, but I do so with a full heart,” Mancuso said.

Mancuso was named to her first Olympic team in 2002 at age 17 and her first medal came at the following Winter Games in 2006. From there, Mancuso continued to flourish and finishes her career with four Olympic medals, one of them gold.

What to read next