VANCOUVER (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii girl took the podium on Tuesday. It was big surprise in Vancouver.
Not too many people expected alpine skier Julia Mancuso to medal in the downhill. Even fewer realize the part-time surfer/stand-up paddler grew up on Kauai and still trains on Maui.
Her good luck charm is now sparkling even more. Mancuso just added another jewel to her tiara - an Olympic silver medal in her downhill run.
And her mom says it means more to Mancuso than the gold she won in 2006.
It's a breakthrough victory for Mancuso, finishing just .56 seconds behind favorite, Lindsey Vonn, who won the gold.
"Lindsey had a lot of pressure on herself, to come in and perform at these games so it's always good to see her finally able to pull that off and to be second behind her and been working really hard maybe kind of a surprise but I always knew I could do it," said Mancuso.
After all, the young woman who spent her elementary school years on Kauai has this childhood dream to fulfill:
"I drew a picture of myself and put '4-time Olympic gold medalist'," said Mancuso.
She already has one of those medals after winning the gold in the giant slalom at the 2006 games in Torino.
But Mancuso's mom says her silver medal outshines the gold.
"More tears than Torino, more tears for sure," said Mancuso's mom, Andrea Webber.
"The silver's even sweeter than the gold because in recent, well last year, Julia faced an adversity with injuries and her skiing was not quite as good as it had been," said Stephan Boeker, Mancuso's manager.
Her perseverance has prevailed. For the last five years, Mancuso's summer training regiment has included surfing and stand-up paddling on Maui where her father still lives.